African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) at
Budapest Zoo in Hungary

dead elephant ☨ ♂ Ali  dead elephant



Species:African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana)
Sex and age:Male ♂
Born:* wild
Birth place: in Sudan unspecified location
Capture: 1874?
Imported:1875 by Firma Carl Hagenbeck
Freight:by ship Suez-Cairo-Trieste
Dead: 1882?
Death location: Budapest Zoo
Death reason: pathological: lung problems
Locations - owners
Present / last location:Budapest Zoo, in Hungary

Date of arrival

1875-07-00Budapest Zoo
from Port of Trieste

1875-07-00Port of Trieste
from Port of Cairo

1875-04-00Port of Cairo
from Suez Port

1875-00-00Suez Port
from Firma Carl Hagenbeck

1874-00-00Firma Carl Hagenbeck
from Sudan unspecified location

Record history
History of updates2022-11-30

Latest document update2021-09-16 14:42:18
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† Ali is a dead Male ♂ African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana), , who died 1882? at Budapest Zoo, in Hungary, . Official death reason described as lung problems.


Ali was born wild at Sudan unspecified location, captured 1874? . and imported 1875 by Firma Carl Hagenbeck, by ship Suez-Cairo-Trieste

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From elephant history by Budapest Zoo
In the fall of 1874, the Zoo finally had the opportunity to make an offer to purchase an elephant as part of a major African animal purchase. By April 1875, the Zoo had already received news that the animals ordered were in Cairo and would soon be shipped to Trieste. The consignment finally arrived in Budapest in early July, including two ostriches, baboons and, among several other African animals, an elephant named Ali.

For years, Ali was the only elephant in the Zoo, although sometimes other snouts occasionally visited us. In 1878, for example, a "Nubian caravan" performed in the "ethnographic stunts" section of the Zoo, and 14 elephants traveled with this caravan: they were, of course, all very young, animals.

Ali, on the other hand, grew year by year, and caregivers taught him more and more. It was even suggested that Ali would perform in a folk theater performance around the Earth in Eighty Days, staged from Verne’s novel, but this was eventually discarded because he was so collaborative. Moreover, later, by the early 1880s, he became increasingly restless, according to many, because his favorite nurse, a young fellow at the Zoo, had been taken away as a soldier. However, sexual maturation, and a period called musth, which is characteristic of male elephants, may have played a role in this, as elephant bulls are often self-threatening to the public. With his beautifully grown tusks, Ali began to diligently demolish his house, and it would become increasingly dangerous for his caregivers as well. Finally, in 1882, the management of the Zoo decided to remove his Tusks.

We can imagine the difficulty of the operation if we consider that there was not much way to anesthetize and stun elephants at that time. Thus, while the animal's Tusks were sawn and grated, the multi-ton elephant had to be securely captured by twenty-five people — mostly zoo staff and veterinary students — using, of course, plenty of strong ropes.

The surgery, as surprising as it may sound, was successful in that the animal’s Tusks were shortened and no trouble or infection occurred as a result. However, Ali did not become much calmer after that, so in 1883 he began to strengthen his seat, including a fence made of railway rails. In the meantime, however, the animal died within a few months, according to studies, because of lung problems.
Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2024). Ali, African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) located at Budapest Zoo in Hungary. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 24 June 2024 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

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Categories1882 deaths | 1874 captures | 1875 imports | Elephants from Budapest Zoo | Hungary | African savanna elephants

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