Jenda Smaha, who was born Jan Vinicky but adopted his family's stage name as a performer, was born Jan. 18, 1932, in Schonebeck-Bad Salzelmen, Germany. He was a 5th generation European circus performer and a world-renowned elephant trainer. His father Jose Smaha worked as elephant trainer on Circus Kludsky until the bankrupt in 1934, and later on Firma Ruhe.
Smaha worked as elephant tainer at Nugget casino in Sparks, but is best known for his wonderful elephant Tanya, with whom he traveled the world.
Smaha retired to Sarasota in 1989. Tanya was given to a friend who had a circus in Mexico?
Smaha died in his sleep of heart failure Oct. 27, 2006, while
on one of his many photo safaris in Africa. He was 74.
Dan, He got the first Tanya in 1970. He got the second Tanya in 1972 now giving him 2 elephants. By 1973, the first one is gone. In 1974 he got the third Tanya again giving him two elephants. By 1975, the second one is gone and he's back with one elephant. In 1978 he got the fourth Tanya giving him two elephants again. In 1979, the third Tanya is no longer there. The fourth Tanya stayed with him from 1978 to 1987 until she was sold to George Hanneford. I don't have any record of where they came from, where they went, or exact dates.