My Years with a Killer Elephant


My Years with a Killer Elephant


he quiet at Bhau Daji Lad Museum is broken by a loud trumpet every few hours. When the looming chandelier trembles due to the racket, the staff knows that it is lunch time for Lakshmi. Hunger makes the oldest inmate of the Mumbai zoo irritable and the 56-year-old elephant, whose pen is located right behind the museum, is famous for her temper.

But then Lakshmi is no ordinary zoo animal. She comes from circus blood so dramatics should be expected. The Jumbo Circus of Kolkata wanted a hippo, the zoo bargained well and in exchange of one hippo, they got three elephants: Laila, Radha, and Lakshmi. The other two have since succumbed to disease and old age but Lakshmi, always the fighter, always the drama queen, is thriving.