Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) at
Portland Zoo (Metro Washington Park Zoo) in United States

dead elephant ☨ ♀ Belle  dead elephant

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SSP nr41


Species:Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)
Subspecies: Elephas maximus indicus
Sex and age:Female ♀ 45 years old
Born:* 1952 wild
Birth place: in Thailand unspecified location
Dead: 1997-04-22
Death reason: euthanised: musculoskeletal problems; infection
Total: 1 babies

1. Born 1962-04-14
(dead † 2017-02-09)
Packy SSP id: 48
Locations - owners
Present / last location:Portland Zoo (Metro Washington Park Zoo), in United States

Date of arrival

1961-10-27Portland Zoo (Metro Washington Park Zoo)
from Seattle Zoo (Woodland Park Zoo)

1959-00-00Seattle Zoo (Woodland Park Zoo)
from Elephant Mountain (Morgan Berry)

1952-00-00Elephant Mountain (Morgan Berry)
from Thailand unspecified location

Record history
History of updates2011-03-27

Latest document update2021-12-21 09:52:43
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† Belle is a dead Female ♀ Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), , who died 1997-04-22 at Portland Zoo (Metro Washington Park Zoo), in United States, . Official death reason described as musculoskeletal problems; infection.


  1. (M) 1962-04-14 -- † 2017-02-09 Packy SSP id: 48


Belle was born wild 1952 at Thailand unspecified location. and imported 1952?

Comments / pictures

Belle was purchased in Thailand by Morgan Berry in the early 1950s when she was just a month old.

1962:April 14, 1962: Belle delivers! Strain too much for zoo boss

A newly born 34-inch baby elephant wobbled around its mother, Belle, in Portland zoo this morning, while the zoo director rested in a hospital after collapsing from the strain. It was the first such birth in this country in 43 years.

Belle, a ten-year-old Siamese elephant, gave birth to the wee, grey baby this morning in the elephant house.

Three other female elephants were present, and one of them, Pet, tried to attack the baby.

Zoo director Jack Marks and other attendants grabbed hooks to steer the three to separate quarters. Then Marks, who has paced the floor with Belle for many days and nights during the past two months, collapsed and was rushed by ambulance to a hospital.

Hospital attendants said he probably would remain one day. They say he was exhausted and was suffering from a strained shoulder muscle.

Belle and the baby were doing fine. The baby estimated at 175 pounds, tottered to its Feet within ten minutes and started nursing within a half hour.

Belle nuzzled it affectionately as it weaved through the straw and hid between her legs, wiggling its 18 inch Trunk. Belle gave all signs of being a protective mother and zoo attendants kept their distance.

The last recorded elephant birth in this country was April 29, 1918 when the old Circus elephant Princess Alice, gave birth to a baby at Salt Lake City.

That baby died. Its death was believed to be the result of its inability to digest cow’s milk after the mother refused to nurse it.

Belle two months ago sparked round-the-clock elephant house vigils when she started giving false birth alarms. She carried the baby for 633 days. Two of the elephants present at this mornings birth — Rosy and Tui Hoa — also are expecting.

Sex of the baby was not immediately known.

It was up to Belle’s owner, Morgan Berry of Seattle, when she and the baby would make their first public appearance. Berry, who raised Belle at his Seattle home, said he planned to raise the baby to adulthood. He did not say where.

Dr. Mathew Mayberry, Belle’s veterinarian was present for the birth.

Thonglaw, the ill-tempered father, remained in isolation for the time being. He has been kept away from the public because the male elephant has a temper and can be dangerous.

From archived copies of The Bulletin at the Des Chutes Historical Museum
Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2024). Belle, Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) located at Portland Zoo (Metro Washington Park Zoo) in United States. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 23 May 2024 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

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Categories1997 deaths | 1952 births | Born in Thailand | Breeding cows | 1952 imports | Elephants from Portland Zoo (Metro Washington Park Zoo) | United States | Asian elephants

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