Jan "Jenda Smaha" Vinicky , circus elephant trainer in
Born 1932-01-18 in Germany
dead 2006-10-27 , son of animal trainer Antonin Vinicky and animal trainer Inge Smaha .
Jenda Smaha, born Jan Vinicky but adopted his familys stage name as a performer, was a 5th generation European circus performer and a world-renowned elephant trainer. His grandfather Jose Smaha
worked as elephant trainer on Circus Kludsky until the bankrupt in 1934, and later on Firma Ruhe in Alfeld, Germany.
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 moved his show and family in 1980 to Botswana, South Africa, where Tanya performed at a hotel casino. He fell in love with Africa and dedicated himself to the protection of vanishing Species.
He became a good friend of Dr. Helena Fitchat, director of the Center for Rehabilitation of Wildlife in South Africa.
He and his wife retired to Sarasota in 1989 to reunite with many of the friends they had made in show business who also retired there. 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.
-Bob Cline, Cheraw, South Carolina, United States.
Records about Jenda Smaha from William "Buckles" Woodcocks Blog at http://www.bucklesw.blogspot.com/
Tony Smaha said his brother told him he wanted to go to Africa "one last time," even though family members had warned him not to because of his failing health.
"He just loved to take pictures and see the elephants," Tony Smaha said. "He loved Africa and he loved safaris. This was his fourth trip."
Jenda Smaha was only in Baraboo for a few years, spending the rest of his life touring around the world, meeting famous people such as Johnny Carson, Jack Nicklaus and Joe DiMaggio along the way. He spent 12 years working in Las Vegas before moving to Sarasota, Fla.
"He got four entertainer of the year awards when he was out in (Las) Vegas," Tony Smaha said.
Tony Smaha said his brother was a pioneer with elephant acts, and was instrumental in starting up the practice of having animals at Circus World Museum.
Records about Jenda Smaha from Bob Cline
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.
Bob Cline, Cheraw, South Carolina, United States. Autor of the book Americas elephants
Siblings Siblings through the father Antonin Vinicky (-): Joszi Vinicky
Jenda Smaha s ancestral Ahnentafel:
Ingeborg Born: 1925-12-02