African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana)
Zip at Ringling Brothers Circus

 ☨ ♀ Zip  



Species:African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana)
Sex and age:Female ♀

People killed:1
Born:* wild
Birth place:
Dead: 1893-01-02
Death reason: disease: swallowed four foot long section of chain that weighed ninety pounds
Present / last location:Ringling Brothers Circus, in United States

Date of Arrival
(Presently sometimes errors!)

1890-00-00Ringling Brothers Circus
from Shelbys Circus (Dan Shelby)
Shelbys Circus (Dan Shelby) 1888-00-00
from Sells Brothers Circus

Document updated2009-11-24: text, remark on the sex
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† Zip is a dead Female ♀ African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana), , who died at Ringling Brothers Circus, in United States, from disease 1893-01-02. Official death reason described as swallowed four foot long section of chain that weighed ninety pounds. (see detailed list).


Zip was born wild .

Comments / pictures

Contradictory records:
Different sources report different sex for this elephant. Buckles Woodcock says it was a male.

Records about Zip from Bob Cline
African Female 1878 to 1887 - Sells Bros. Circus
1888 to 1889 - Shelby Circus
1888 - Killed her Trainer John Goggy in Dubois, Pa. In Sept.
1890 - Sells and Andress New Colassal Show, Circus, Museum, & Menagerie
1890 to 1892 - Ringling Bros. Circus
Died - Jan. 2, 1893 in Baraboo quarters

1888: Killed the Trainer John Goggy in Dubois, Pa. In Sept.
In the Jan.12, 1893 Baraboo, Wisconsin newspaper was the report of Zip passing away although it didn't pin it down to an exact date.
Bob Cline
Curiously when they performed the necropsy, they reportly found inside her stomach a four foot long section of chain that weighed ninety pounds. How it got there no one could say, but for three days before her demise around January 3, 1893, Zip a usually docile and tractable elephant was in a state of wild frenzy. How an elephant could swallow a chain that big is a mystery, but possibly the chain may have been rolled up in a bushel and or perhaps some disgruntled employee tricked her into eating the bushel that may have been covered with fruit,as hungry elephants have been known to swallow baskets of fruit or vegetables in one gulp.
Kenton Cornish

An elephant identified as Zip died in early 1893 and his death is covered in the Baraboo Republic of January 12, 1893. A post mortem was conducted by Prof. Donaldson of a Chicago university and Carl Akeley, then identified with the Milwaukee museum.
Fred Dahlinger

Reference listKoehl, Dan, (2021). Zip, African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) located at Ringling Brothers Circus in United States. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 25 July 2021 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:


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  • Categories1893 deaths | Elephants from Ringling Brothers Circus | United States | Mankillers | African savanna elephants

    This document was updated: 2020-10-18 06:25:24

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