A hundred years ago, an elephant named Mary was strung up by a crane and publicly hanged to death


A hundred years ago, an elephant named Mary was strung up by a crane and publicly hanged to death in a Tennessee town after she struck back at a circus employee who hit her with a sharp tool called a bullhook.

It took two attempts to kill Mary. The first chain placed around her neck snapped, sending her crashing to the ground and breaking her hip. The second attempt was successful. Her broken body was buried nearby. No melephonument exists to commemorate Mary, just this shocking image, which serves as a haunting reminder of the circus industry’s long history of killing and abuse. Mary was killed in 1916. Today, 100 years later, elephants still suffer in traveling circus shows.
Beating animals and driving them mad for tawdry human entertainment have no place in civilized society. While kind people hope such shameful acts of exploitation—like hanging Mary from a crane…

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13 thoughts on “A hundred years ago, an elephant named Mary was strung up by a crane and publicly hanged to death

  1. Ugh. Why do humans have such an ugly vengeful punishing streak in them? If an animal must be euthanized, surely a humane death is preferably to such a ghastly and violent spectacle as this. My heart just sinks. All throughout our ugly history we see this, done to each other as well.

    At least she got to strike back. Humans suck!!!! This is why I have very little sympathy to spare for any of the More Importan Human Problem(s) du Jour, that never seem to resolve themselves, to the detriment of everything else on earth. Blech!

    We are an ugly and violent species. I keep reading about how “America was founded on immigration”. Uh, no it wasn’t. It was founded on greed, pillage and plunder, slavery and indentured servitude, and c’mon bring all your friends!

  2. I heard about this but it still hurts the same. Wtf is wrong with people?!?! This is a PRIME example of why elephants, as well as any kind of animal, do not belong in a circus. We think we know everything and believe as in this sad case that our way is the only way. Mary was trying to tell us that what we were doing and continue to do to this day, is wrong and nothing short of abuse and cruelty. God damn shame!! Rest In Peace Sweet Mary, you endured so much suffering but you are in a better place and things are now slowly changing in the public eye. ♥🐘

  3. Humans, cruelest, ugliest critters known in the universe. And let me speculate: God created us in his image? Or, we created God in our image.. either way, it does not say much about God.

  4. Pingback: Elephant Hanged Twice in 2016 For Resisting | Eugenio Negro Comics

  5. I think someone should put up a monument for her. What in the world makes someone think that an animal can be punished like this, for responding naturally to being kept in captivity by a cruel tormentor? This brought me to tears. I hadn’t ever heard of this (I had heard of one being electrocuted – what spectacular monsters we can be) – it is so revolting to think of it, and that she fell – what must have gone through her mind, how a mob of monsters had treated her, simply because they are human.

  6. This is the one I had heard of, and I can’t read much of it. I’m glad these poor, abused creatures stamped out their tormentors. They had wanted to hang Tospy in a public spectacle also (and charge admission! Never let it be said that humans cannot find a way to capitalize on anything) but The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals stepped in. She fought them every step of the way. It is so revolting, I could vomit. Even today, no matter what kind of fool behavior humans so to bring harm to themselves, the animal has to pay the price (Blaze the Bear in Yellowstone).


  7. As I said, I had known of and was repulsed by what was done to Topsy, but I didn’t realize how horribly Mary was destroyed also. I guess I didn’t know that it was a regular thing, to treat elephants this way, and other wildlife kept prisoner by us, who quite naturally do not adapt well to being beaten and tormented by ignorant fools.

  8. I remember seeing a picture of that poor elephant many years ago. I was horrified then and am horrified now. Another example of human meanness and stupidity and another reason to write a check for Planned Parenthood. Actually a few hundred years ago, animals were actually tried before they were executed if they harmed human beings. Of course, no human beings went to the gallows for torturing animals.

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