Alfred Cops

From the list of elephant persons Family: Cops

Alfred Cops
Profession zoo head zookeeper
Personal details
Born ? in United Kingdom
Dead 1853 in United Kingdom
Country United Kingdom

Title head zookeeper 1822-1853
Location at Tower of London Menagerie in United Kingdom

Biography details

Alfred Cops , zoo head zookeeper in United Kingdom

Born ? in United Kingdom dead 1853 in United Kingdom .

When Alfred Cops was appointed head keeper in 1822 all that was left of the collection was a handful of animals, but within six years he had built up the stock to some 300 animals, representing sixty Species, and improved their living conditions. A successful breeding programme led one commentator to observe that ‘those whelped in the Tower are more fierce than such as are taken wild’.

Cops, though, was allowed to exhibit his own animals there, but even then, misfortune followed him, leading authorities to close the menagerie down after an audacious attack by a monkey on a guardsman. On August 28, 1835, the public were admitted for the last time. Shortly afterwards, the remaining animals were sold to an American showman, Benjamin Brown, and the Lion Tower was demolished.

In 1838 Benjamin Brown traveled to the Great Kalahari Desert in Africa with Stebbins June, to purchase giraffes.

In the fall of 1840 Brown took the giraffes to England with the Van Amburgh Menagerie where he met and married Mary Cops, the daughter of Alfred Cops, the Keeper of the Royal Menagerie at the Tower of London. He resided with the Cops family in the Tower until 1844, the only American known to have done so.


Total: 1 children

  1. Mary Cops. Born: 1818-06-17.

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2024). head zookeeper Alfred Cops in United Kingdom. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 21 July 2024 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

Selected publications

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Categories head zookeeper | zoo | Tower of London Menagerie | Cops family | Born ? | Dead 1853 | People from United Kingdom

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