James McNally , zoo elephant keeper in Ireland
Born ? in Ireland
dead 1903-06-09 in Ireland
1903-06-09: On the 9th of June 1903 James McNally, a beloved keeper in Dublin Zoo, and his son proceeded to the enclosure of Sita. She was an Indian elephant who had spent over 20 years at her adopted home in the Phoenix Park. James had been her keeper, trainer and friend since she arrived in Dublin Zoo. At 5 tonnes and 12 Feet
high at the shoulder, she was the largest elephant in the British Isles. A favorite of children, Sita had never previously shown any signs of aggression.
On that fateful day, McNally and son were attending to her cut and badly infected foot. McNally had previously trained Sita to kneel on command, so requested she do that so he could apply lotion to her wound. However, due to the sheer agony which the usually docile creature was experiencing, she ran amok lashing out at the zookeeper trying to help her. In what must've been a traumatic sight, especially for his poor son, Sita knocked unfortunate McNally to the ground with her muscular Trunk.
To the horror of all involved, she then proceeded to stand on McNally's head where he lay. In a daze of pain and fright, Sita kept her massive foot squashing the zookeeper whilst a dozen people frantically tried to drag and push her off the man. Sadly it was too late. The animal-lover suffered catastrophic head injuries and was already dead.
Sita was put down by members of the Royal Irish Constabulary.
1903-06-10: In an appalling and unnecessary act, Sita was shot dead with an "elephant rifle" the next day by two Royal Irish Constabulary policemen, chosen because of their experience Hunting
in British India.