African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) at
Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark

dead elephant ☨ ♂ Tembo  dead elephant
Photo: © Jens Madsen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Photo: © Jens Madsen, Copenhagen, Denmark



Species:African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana)
Sex and age:Male ♂ 36 years old
Body height: 3.50 meter, 11.5 feet
Body weight: 6250.00 kg, 13750.00 lbs
Born:* 1934 wild
Birth place:
Imported:1936? by The Big Game Ranch
Dead: 1970-05-05
Death reason: euthanised: uncontrollable, destroyed stable
Locations - owners
Present / last location:Copenhagen Zoo, in Denmark

Date of arrival

1936-06-05Copenhagen Zoo
from The Big Game Ranch

Record history
History of updates2009-09-09: text
2012-02-29: height
2020-09-24: weight

Latest document update2021-09-18 17:27:47
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† Tembo is a dead musth Male ♂ African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana), , who died 1970-05-05 at Copenhagen Zoo, in Denmark, . Official death reason described as uncontrollable, destroyed stable.


Tembo was born wild 1934. and imported 1936? by The Big Game Ranch

Comments / pictures

Tembo in Copenhagen Zoo

Tembo three years old, at arrival to Copenhagen.
Caught in Sudan by Christoffer Schuls.

First rented through firma August Fochelmann in Hamburg from Fred Lawson in London for 500 danish crowns/month, 1937 bought, and donated from Dr. Böje Benzon.

Broke his left tusk 1940-01-20.

Ate a camera from a visitor in 1959.

In May 1970 he started to become very aggressive,a d destroyed gates etc in his stable.

The reason for his sudden violent behavior was caused by one of his teeth(molars)where growing downwards and his jawbone was split in two.

Experts stated that it had caused him severe pain. Before the sufferings began, he was a very calm and friendly elephant both towards his keepers and to the public.

At death his weight was minimum 6 250 kgs. One of europes largest elephants ever, maybe even worldwide. His death created negative feelings with the danish public. The day after several windows were destroyed in the house of the Copenhagen Zoo director.

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2023). Tembo, African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) located at Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 2 December 2023 at https://www.elephant.se/database2.php?elephant_id=2153. (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

  • Height: Henry Merker, Tiergarten-Forum
  • Jens Madsen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Erland Axel Wadsten
  • Elefanter i Köpenhavns Zoologisk Haave siden 1878, by Henning, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Categories1970 deaths | 1934 births | Born in Sudan | 1936 imports | Elephants from Copenhagen Zoo | Denmark | African savanna elephants

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