Don Pedro: the elephant that died twice

He was a star at Barnum and Bailey circus and again in our old Zoology gallery, we only wish he'd survived the Blitz

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Don Pedro was a male Indian elephant who once performed at the Barnum and Bailey circus. After escaping the circus in May 1898 and running wild in Liverpool, he sadly met his first encounter with the grim reaper. His corpse was then transported to us at the World Museum, where he was preserved, becoming a museum specimen.

In 1906, Don Pedro had a new lease of life, positioned at the opening of the Upper Horseshoe gallery (now the World Cultures gallery). This is where the museum’s zoology collections lived and Don Pedro was the gallery’s centrepiece, overseeing the other mammal specimens. 

Unfortunately, he lost his life again 43 years later. On the night of 3 May 1941, World Museum suffered extensive fire damage during the Blitz and Don Pedro disappeared in the fire that night. 

Although he is no longer with us, we remember his presence to this day as our favourite guardian of the zoology collection and hope other elephants have a better life where they are free and protected. If you'd like to find out more you can head to World Elephant Day here