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Electrocuting an Elephant

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Uploaded on Aug 15, 2008

This footage is form 1903, but 100+ years later, circus elephants are still held captive for entertainment and treated poorly ... please do not purchase tickets to see wild animals perform tricks!

For another video about Topsy, be sure to watch All India Radio's video "Persist". here's more:

On a dreary January morning in 1903, a crowd estimated at some 1,500 gathered in the off-season quiet of Coney Island to witness what The New York Times termed "a rather inglorious affair."

Topsy, a six-ton, 10-foot-tall female Indian elephant in a circus, had recently developed a bad temper, killing three circus workers in as many years. Each had in one way or another abused her. After a failed attempt to publicly poison Topsy by feeding her cyanide-laced carrots, and flawed plans to have her hanged, officials decided instead Topsy would be publicly electrocuted by Thomas Edison as a publicity stunt.

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