Narrating the correlation of elephants as related to their import, groupings, breeding and transfers,
along with other elephant related topics.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Jardin Zoologico Nacional de Chile

Santiago Zoo, 2010. The upgraded elephant enclosure can be seen at the left.
Photo Courtesy of previously only displayed two unknown female African elephants at the Jardin Zoologico Nacional de Chile, or the Chile National Zoo in Santiago.

With research performed by ShowMe Elephants, the database has now been updated with more information regarding the zoo's pair of African elephants, Jumbo and Protea. Two past elephants residing at the zoo also have been identified. More details regarding these four animals' history are still sought.

Jumbo and Protea arrived together to Chile in January 1996 as gifts from the government of South Africa. They replaced the zoo's first elephant Fresia. Fresia was acquired from the Rio de Janeiro Zoo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1940. The Asian elephant died 51 years later in May 1991 of a heart attack; efforts to raise her to her feet were unsuccessful.

An African elephant (name, sex and origin unknown) succumbed in the 1990s after several surgeries performed to remove trash and other debris from its stomach.

It is interesting to note the Santiago Zoo's official website gives the wrong classifcation information for the African elephant. It is listed as Order Artiodactyla and Family Hippopotamidae, rather than Order Proboscidea and Family Elephantidea.

Protea and Jumbo of the Santiago Zoo
Photo Courtesy of

For Additional Information
>> "Elefanta Fresia,"

>> "Chile Zoo Seen as Unfit for Man or Beast,", 06/23/1996

>> "Elephant discovers the pitfalls of mating,", 09/17/1997

>> "Untamed and Uncut: Electrified Elephant," Animal Planet on YouTube

>> "Chile´s National Zoo still growing after 85 years of history,", 2010

Records at
>> Fresia at

>> Jumbo at

>> Protea at

>> Unknown at

Update 05/03/2011
"On Showmeelephants, Radar ponders who was responsible for listing the African Elephants on the Santiago Zoo's official web site as Order Artiodactyla and Family Hippopotamidae, rather than Order Proboscidea and Family Elephantidea. I am not sure but probably the same person who decided that "mint" was a more natural color for the horrid elephant building then the mud brown color(they need to dump a pile of rubble on top of it, ala Brookfield.) Probably also the same person who said, "let's try to think of a new, never before used elephant name this time. I know, how about Jumbo?" //Wade Burck

Photos of the elephants and exhibit are also available at the following link.

>> "For Radar--Jumbo and Protea, National Zoo, Santiago Chile," Circus No-Spin Zone, 05/03/2011


  1. Radar,
    Geez, this Untamed and Uncut clip is crazy!!! Not being a fan(I have seen two segments) of the "amateur hour" style/format sensationalism of Animal Planet and their script writers(incredible imaginations), I had not seen it.(It is hard to beat anything National Geographic for great animal shows) You have to assume one of the zoo staff plugged in the "heat", and you have to also wonder why they wouldn't have known what amp it produced?

  2. Wade,
    I came across the clip searching for information about Chile's elephant population. Under related videos, there was a clip about Cindy from the San Diego Wild Animal Park (you remember her from our discussion about the Port Defiance elephants in Tacoma, Washington).

    As far as plugging in the wires, I was curious what type they were using that it had a plug already attached at the end - definitely not your standard usage hot wire. Was this device already used previously for an incident in the elephant compound? These two elephants were only at the zoo for about a year when the "moat" incident occurred.

    It is also interesting to note it seems the zoo decreased the size of the outdoor yard during the renovation. When Brookfield added a pipe and cable fence, they removed the moat and expanded the size of the yard. Wichita is planning to add a pipe and cable fence for the elephants' safety as well. I do not know if they plan on filling in the moat to accommodate the fence and add more space for the animals.

  3. Radar,
    I saw the "Cindy" tape years before it became a youtube/Animal Planet. In fact a short time back, Jim Alexander alluded to the "original". We have to assume finances had a lot to do with Santiago's decision to just put a fence inside the moat. As for the hot wire set up, it was odd. The video leads us to believe that the cord ran from the outlet all the way across the pen. I would think if that was the case the insulation of the cord should have prevent the zap. I wonder if there was a different outlet that a box plugged into, and it was moved to a different outlet for this situation? That was a fortunate keeper who ran in there and didn't get his head kicked back over the moat, Pele style. Hard clip to watch, as I really feel for that girl.


I eagerly anticipate associating with new individuals with an interest or history in elephants, elephant history and elephant record keeping. If you have further information regarding the animals or locations questioned in the article, please leave a comment or message me in an effort to complete their records for elephant historians.