The Pittsburgh Zoo has a long history of housing and exhibiting Asian elephants prior to their currently successful African elephant breeding program. Unfortunately, very little of this history is recorded in the North American Regional Studbook for the Asian Elephant. Referencing archived news records of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and others, more insight can be found regarding the Highland Park Zoo's early elephant history.
Friday, December 20, 2013
The story starts in 1955, with eight elephants imported by Louis Goebel and purchased by Anheuser Busch for the St. Louis Zoo. The new animals were to be trained by Floyd Smith and presented to the public in daily shows, a testament to the Polack act trained by Mac MacDonald. Within five years, three of the group were sold. The first, Eleanor, was sold to the Weed Park Zoo in Muscatine, Iowa, in September 1959.
OpLink - History review (original record card / ks)
0/8 purchased from Louis Goebel Wild Animal Farm ($3,500 ea. price plus insurance, $28,000 total) with funds donated by Anheuser-Busch Charitable Trust. 0/4 arrived at Goebel in May 1954 and another 0/4 in October 1954, where they remained for training by Zoo elephant trainer, Floyd Smith, until being trucked to the Zoo by Anheuser-Busch.
Postcard 4, St Louis Zoo
Postcard Courtesy of S Hoss
Posted Friday, December 20, 2013