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Empress (Gypsy)
Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) at
Harris Nickel Plate Shows in United States

dead elephant ☨ ♀ Empress (Gypsy)  dead elephant



Species:Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)
Sex and age:Female ♀, unknown age

People killed:6
Born:* wild
Birth place:
Death reason: euthanised: shot, agressive
Locations - owners
Present / last location:Harris Nickel Plate Shows, in United States

Date of arrival

1892-00-00Harris Nickel Plate Shows
from Clark Brothers Circus

1890-00-00Clark Brothers Circus
from Forepaugh & Samwells

1887-00-00Forepaugh & Samwells
from O'Brien Circus

1886-00-00O'Brien Circus
from Grand Circus Royal & English Menagerie

1881-00-00Grand Circus Royal & English Menagerie
from Great Inter-Ocean Shows

1879-00-00Great Inter-Ocean Shows 1879-00-00
from Campbell's New York and Philadelphia Zoological and Equestrian Institute

1878-00-00Campbell's New York and Philadelphia Zoological and Equestrian Institute
from Dan Rice Circus

1873-00-00Dan Rice Circus
from O'Brien Circus

Record history
History of updates2010-09-26: prev locations

Latest document update2020-10-18 06:25:24
Random literature

† Empress (Gypsy) is a dead Female ♀ Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), , who died at Harris Nickel Plate Shows, in United States, . Official death reason described as shot, agressive.


Empress (Gypsy) was born wild .

Comments / pictures

1867-1891: Killed 4 people.
1896: killed Frank Scott
1902: killed James "Whiskey Red" O'Rourke.

Records about Empress (Gypsy) from Bob Cline

Female Asian 1870 - sold at Auction to John "Pogey" O'Brien for $5,000 in November
1871 - Pogey O'Brien Circus
1873 - Dan Rice Circus
1878 - Campbell's Great New York and Philadelphia Zoological & Equestrienne Institute
1879 to 1880 - Great Inter Ocean
1881 to 1883 - Grand Circus Royal, English Menagerie Consolidated with the Great Astley's Museum & Aquarium Caravan

1885 - Killed Robert White on October 12th
1886 - Pogey O'Brien's Show
1886 - sold to John B. Doris
1887 to 1889 - O'Brien's and the Forepaugh & Samwells' show
1890 to 1891 - Clark Bros. Circus
1892 to 1902 - Harris Nickle Plate Shows renamed Gypsy
1896 - killed 3rd victim ( Trainer Frank Scott )
Died - Nov. 24, 1902 ( Executed by gunshot. )

Bob Cline, author of the book "Americas elephants".

1888:"(Clarks broters) in 1888 purchased some of the Pogey OBrien show equipment and the elephant "Empress." This bull was a bad one and was known to have killed four men. George Hartzell, a well known clown of that period, and the elephant man, along with a few others from the OBrien show, went with the Clarks. Hartzell stayed with the Clark show five months.

1896-03-25: While with W. H. Harris Nickel-Plate, Frank Scott was killed by the elephant Gypsy in winter quarters, Chicago, March 25, 1896. Had recently taken charge of the animal, formerly named Empress, which had always been dangerous. This was her 3rd victim. Scott had been connected with this circus for the last 6 years.
Olympians of the Sawdust Circle, William L. Slout and Circus Historical Society

When the Clark Brothers went broke, the elephant, Empress, was sold to the Harris Nickle Plate Shows, where she was heavily billed as Gypsy. Bill Woodcock said, a short time before he died, that Walter Jennier had told him about being on the Harris show as a child. Jennier reported that Empress had killed a handler, James ORoark (Jimmy the bum), while being loaded to go to the Harris winter quarters in Valdosta, Georgia. Mrs. Harris ordered her executed and she was taken into the swamps and shot. Jennier remembered the crowd cutting off pieces of her Anatomy for souvenirs."

Homer C. Walton. Bandwagon, Vol. 9, No. 2 (Mar-Apr), 1965, pp. 4-11.
Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2021). Empress (Gypsy), Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) located at Harris Nickel Plate Shows in United States. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 28 May 2023 at https://www.elephant.se/database2.php?elephant_id=1447. (archived at the Wayback machine)

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CategoriesElephants from Harris Nickel Plate Shows | United States | Mankillers | Asian elephants

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