Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) at
Pope Leo X (Giovanni di Lorenzo de Medici) in Italy

dead elephant ☨ ♂ Hanno  dead elephant
Sketch of Hanno and mahout, after Raphael, c.1514.
Sketch of Hanno and mahout, after Raphael, c.1514.
Alternative name: Annone



Species:Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)
Sex and age:Male ♂
Born:* wild
Birth place: in Asia unspecified location
Dead: 1516-06-16
Death reason: disease: Angina
Locations - owners
Present / last location:Pope Leo X (Giovanni di Lorenzo de Medici), in Italy

Date of arrival

1515-03-12Pope Leo X (Giovanni di Lorenzo de Medici)
from Ostia Port of Rome

1514-00-00Ostia Port of Rome
from King Emanuel I of Portugal

1507-00-00King Emanuel I of Portugal
from Port of Lisbon

Port of Lisbon
from Asia unspecified location

Record history
History of updates2021-07-25

Latest document update2021-07-25 22:01:55
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Relevant literature

† Hanno is a dead Male ♂ Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), , who died 1516-06-16 at Pope Leo X (Giovanni di Lorenzo de Medici), in Italy, . Official death reason described as Angina.


Hanno was born wild at Asia unspecified location.

Comments / pictures

Hanno (Italian, Annone; c. 1510 – 8 June 1516) was the pet white elephant of Pope Leo X (born Giovanni de' Medici), and the subject of the book "The Pope's Elephant: An Elephant's Journey from Deep in India to the Heart of Rome" by Silvio A. Bedini. He was the gift of King Manuel I of Portugal on the Pope's coronation, and was later named Hanno by the people in Rome.

King Manuel had either received him as a gift from the King of Cochin, or had asked Alfonso d'Albuquerque, his viceroy in India, to purchase him.

Hanno was said to be white in colour, and arrived by ship from Lisbon to Rome in 1514, aged about four years, and was kept initially in an enclosure in the Belvedere courtyard, then moved to a specially constructed building between St. Peter's Basilica and the Apostolic Palace, near the Borgo Sant'Angelo (a road in the rione of Borgo).

Hanno became a great favourite of the papal court and he was featured in processions, ridden by his care taker Giovanni Batista Branconi dell Aquila, assisted by the stable hand Alfonso.

A street and an Inn was named after Hanno.

Two years after he came to Rome, he fell ill suddenly, was given a purgative, and died on 16 June 1516, with the pope at his side. Hanno was laid to rest in the Cortile del Belvedere at the age of seven.

Hanno in Pope Leo X (Giovanni di Lorenzo de Medici)

The Popes Elephant

Silvio A. Bedini

More info?
Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2023). Hanno, Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) located at Pope Leo X (Giovanni di Lorenzo de Medici) in Italy. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 9 December 2023 at https://www.elephant.se/database2.php?elephant_id=1815. (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

  • Asia in the Making of Europe, Volume II: A Century of Wonder. Book 1: by Donald F. Lach

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Categories1516 deaths | Born in Sri Lanka | Elephants from Pope Leo X (Giovanni di Lorenzo de Medici) | Italy | Asian elephants

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