Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) at
Orton Brothers Circus in United States

dead elephant ☨ ♂ Hero  dead elephant
Hero 1916
Hero 1916
Taxidermy locationW. H. Over Museum, Vermillion, United States



Species:Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)
Sex and age:Male ♂
Born:* wild
Birth place: in Asia unspecified location
Dead: 1916
Death reason: euthanised: shot
Locations - owners
Present / last location:Orton Brothers Circus, in United States

Date of arrival

1915-00-00Orton Brothers Circus
from William P. Hall Animal Farm

William P. Hall Animal Farm
from Lucky Bill Wagon Show

1911-00-00Lucky Bill Wagon Show
from William P. Hall Animal Farm

1910-06-18William P. Hall Animal Farm
from Norris and Rowe Circus

Record history
History of updates

Latest document update2021-12-23 16:18:37
Random literature

† Hero is a dead Male ♂ Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), , who died 1916 at Orton Brothers Circus, in United States, . Official death reason described as shot.

Museum locationThe Museum specimen remains of this animal is within the collection at W. H. Over Museum, in Vermillion, United States, since 1916-00-00.


Hero was born wild at Asia unspecified location.

Comments / pictures

1910: Sold on auction; The general circus paraphernalia, including wagons, cages, tents, cooking utensils, etc., brought very low figures, but when the purchasers reached the wild animals better prices were secured. "Hero," the nine foot bull elephant, was sold at $1,000, and "Duchess," the female, brought $1,650.
New York clippings 1910

During the tour 1916 Hero, newly purchased from William P. Hall, appearently made problems, and in May escaped the circus and a drunken trainer in Elkton, South Dakota.

This incident happened on my familys show, the Orton Bros. Circus. It is the only season they went out on rails.

“My mother was 14 at the time and since the train happened to be next to the circus lot that day, she had a good view of Newton (Heros trainer) being chased under a wagon and barely escaping.

“Hero tried to tip the wagon over on top of him.

“Running for his life, Newton barely made it aboard the train in one of the coaches. My mother said that Hero then walked along side the coach looking in each window for his prey.

“For a fleeting moment, Hero locked eyes with my mother.

“Anyway, Hero, in a frustrated state, proceeded to shove a couple of wagons off a flat car and then continued out into the countryside

William Buckles Woodcock

An angry mob demanded the elephant killed, and after spending alot of ammunition, Hero was shot dead with a The 30 30 Savage Army rifle.

Hero in Orton Brothers Circus

Heros bullet ridden skull, part of his pelvis, some leg bones and shoulder blades can be viewed at the W.H Over Museum in Vermillion South Dakota.

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2023). Hero, Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) located at Orton Brothers Circus in United States. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 3 December 2023 at https://www.elephant.se/database2.php?elephant_id=2308. (archived at the Wayback machine)

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Categories1916 deaths | W. H. Over Museum Taxidermy | Elephants from Orton Brothers Circus | United States | Asian elephants

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