Morgan Berry

From the list of elephant persons Family: Berry

Morgan Berry
Morgan  Berry

Personal details

Spouse(s) - 1978 Eloise Berchtold

Country United States

Title owner 1965-1979
Location at Elephant Mountain (Morgan Berry) in United States

Title owner 1952-1965
Location at Morgan Berry Animal Farm in United States

Morgan  Berchtold
Morgan Berry and Thonglaw at Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle
Biography details

Morgan Berry , circus elephant trainer in United States

Born 1911-07-30 in United States dead 1979 in United States .

Owner of 1 elephants

1: Ranchipur (owner )

H. Morgan Berry was born July 30, 1911, to Estella and Howard Berry in the tiny railroad town of Mapleton, Minnesota. Morgan’s father practiced law and his mother kept the home and raised Morgan and his two younger sisters. He chose to work as an exotic animal importer: speculating tigers, gibbons and leopards, before discovering a passion for pachyderms. It wasn’t until the 1950s that Morgan finally settled down in Seattle as an elephant trainer and zookeeper.

In a 1952 magazine ad, Berry was advertising four foot tall female elephants for sale for $3000 per animal. (Belle?)

1955: Morgan Berry imported eight elephant babies. George "Slim" Lewis and director of Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle, assisted unloading the elephants in Seattle. (Billboard 7 May 1955)

Records about Morgan Berry from William "Buckles" Woodcocks Blog at
it started in Seattle,with Morgan having his elephants on display and eventually he started operating an animal import business on the side, using the zoo's facilities.
This soon caused problems and they asked him to leave, totally unaware (as was Morgan) that they were chasing off to Portland a pregnant elephant and the biggest zoo attraction that I can remember.

William "Buckles" Woodcock

In 1962, Morgan gained worldwide acclaim for being the first person in 44 years to breed elephants in the western hemisphere. He sent two of his young elephants, Thonglaw and Belle, to stay at Portland’s zoo (one pregnant).

Morgan Berry had an all bull act called "The Tuskers of Thailand" which included the bull Ranchipur and the bull Thai.

Morgan  Berry
The Tuskers of Thailand; Teak, Thai, Tonga, Buddah, Ranchipur, Eloise Berchtold and Morgan Berry.

Morgan  Berry

When Morgan retired in 1965, he purchased an old dairy farm southeast of Kalama, between Kalama and Woodland where he built his home. The farm had previously been a dairy farm owned by the Schmitz family. With the help of son Kenny Berry and longtime love, wild animal trainer Eloise Berchtold, he created a mountaintop menagerie. At its peak, this 80-acre mountaintop farm was home to over 100 animal Species.

By the late 1960s, Berry had reportedly raised more than 100 elephant babies. In 1967, the Oregonian wrote that he and his son Kenneth were some of the only animal trainers in North America and Europe who had the courage and the know-how to face up to a male elephant during periodic episodes of Musth — a spike in hormones in male elephants that causes them to go in a rage-like state.

Morgan Berry was killed by the elephant Tonga in June, 1979 at Elephant Mountain, his 75 acre farm south of Kalama, Washington. At the time of his death, Berrys 75-acre farm housed nine elephants and 2 wolfs. Berry began importing elephants into the United States in 1952. He brought in 120 of them over the years and sold them to zoos, circuses, trainers, and private individuals. His son, Kenny Berry, lives in Seattle. Berry worked with his father and continues in the elephant business (he delivered San Diego’s bull, Ranchipur, to the Wild Animal Park).

Morgan  Berry


Total: 1 children

  1. Kenny Berry. Born: ?.

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2024). elephant trainer Morgan Berry in United States. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 24 July 2024 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

Selected publications

Links about Kenny Berry

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Categories elephant trainer | circus | Elephant Mountain (Morgan Berry) | Berry family | Born 1911 | Dead 1979 | People from United States

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