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Grave of Man Crushed by Elephant.

Grave of Man Crushed by Elephant

Field review by the editors.

Charlotte, North Carolina

A marble obelisk marking the grave of John King features a weathered elephant and a barely legible inscription. King was an animal trainer for John Robinson Circus, which was leaving Charlotte on September 27, 1880. And that's when King was deliberately crushed to death by an unhappy elephant named Chief.

Some reporters wrote that King was smashed against a railroad box car. Others claimed that he was crushed against a cage of angry lions. It really didn't matter; every bone in King's body was broken.

Chief was banished to the zoo in Cincinnati (the circus's home town), where he reportedly killed two other people. He was then killed himself -- by a firing squad. Chief's body was then stuffed and pulled around the city on wheels and, according to a contemporary account in the New York Times, his body was roasted and served to guests at Cincinnati's Palace Hotel.

Also see: Elephant Burial Ground

Grave of Man Crushed by Elephant

Elmwood Cemetery

700 W 6th St, Charlotte, NC
Enter cemetery from W 6th St. gate past first road on right. Grave is on right, after first road on left. Plot A-11
Gated after hours. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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