Saturday, January 10, 2015


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The brutal and tragic theme, so impressionable worth considering whether to read it ...
Until the 1920s, the execution of animals in the United States by the courts were commonplace. As a rule, dogs and horses were sacrificed when they their actions led to the death of people.
But a few executions and got a share of elephants. First considered executed elephant Topsy.
History of elephant executions in the United States is closely linked with the history of the invention of the electric chair.Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse were struggling to their current systems were not involved with the invention of the electric chair, or their names have been associated with death. Thomas Edison advocated for his DC system was used for the lighting of cities, and not at the execution. In turn, Westinghouse did not want his AC system was associated with death. It would hurt their businesses, as did both the inventor. The execution took place on an elephant after the introduction of the electric chair as a method of execution.
Thus, the confrontation between the two inventors went on for many years.

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Topsy, an elephant from India, was the height of 10 feet, 19 feet and 11 inches in length. Topsy was brought to the circus for 28 years before her execution, it carried with views across the country, she worked on the construction of the park in Coney Island, NY. 2 years before the events described Topsy changed, became more aggressive and sometimes unmanageable. Several times, and the audience, and the staff had to run away from the circus furious elephant. Finally, on one view in New York crushed to death 3 people, and it was sentenced to death by hanging.
On Sunday, January 4, 1903 took place penalty elephant at Luna Park, Coney Island. For the experiments we observed a half thousand people.
Edison for an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the danger of alternating current, which can be fatal even for an elephant. On the neck of the elephant was tied rope, one end of which was attached to the auxiliary engine (donkey engine), and the other - to the post.

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Her feet were attached wooden sandals with a layer of copper. These were the electrodes. They were connected with the copper wire by a generator of electric stations Edison. Was filed in the current voltage of 6600 volts! Elephant died 22 seconds after the start of the current supply, not making a sound.
The audience was so disappointed transient execution, and suspected that the elephant for a few minutes before serving current watered cyanide solution (one of the cops really watered elephant before his execution).
Experiments Edison and Brown made an impression on the New York Society of Forensic Medicine, which was responsible for developing recommendations for the use of a new method of enforcement. The experiments were conducted in the presence of the press. Reports of a painless death filled the pages of newspapers. The New York Times wrote: "AC definitely leave without work executioner."
Although this confrontation was the victor, Thomas Edison, in the history of the invention of the electric chair both the inventor are the main actors.
A elephant Topsy is a monument near the site where she was executed.

One of the most notorious cases of executions of an elephant in US history - the execution, which took place in Tennessee thirteenth September 1916.
September 12, 1916 circus group «Sparks Brothers» came to play in the city of Kingsport, Tennessee. They brought with them 30 iletnyuyu elephant Mary, followed by performances in between watching a Red Eldridge, who had just taken, and no experience in the treatment of animals he did not have. While the elephant was a rarity, few people saw it even in the picture, but there is such a huge thing, and besides, the same can play 25 tunes musical horns.
In front of one of his speeches Eldridge stabbed her sensitive ear hook - tried so take it to the stage. Mary mad. She grabbed his trunk, threw it on the ground and began to stomp their feet, scoring death.
There was panic. By elephant fired, but the bullet srednekalibernye here were useless. Then the sheriff Hickman "arrested" Mary and closed in a cage next to the city jail for all to see how true were the assurances Charlie Sparks that the animal does not harm anyone. Residents of neighboring towns said they will not accept this circus until a deadly elephant alive. It is not known how many people in death she is guilty (according to some sources 3, on the other - 8).

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It is said that the elephant was sentenced shot 5 times with a rifle caliber 32 (12,40-13,10 mm diameter bullet), but failed to kill him. It was also proposed to break apart elephant tied to two locomotives. Then, in order not to torture an animal was asked to kill an elephant discharge electric current. This kind of electric chair for an elephant. But under public pressure brothers Sparks took a terrible decision - the next day, Mary hung on a crane in front of a crowd of spectators.

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There were about 5,000 people. However, the penalty is not held as planned. The chain, which hung over the elephant, could not stand the weight and broken. Mary fell, broke his hip.

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But it hung again, this time successfully. Mary was buried near the place of execution.
Later the name of Charlie Sparks, despite the events of September 13, 1916, decorated corridor circus fame and still is the hallmark of the circus.

From the memories of residents of Yerevan:

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June 28, 1970 years- a year before I was born from Yerevan Zoo elephant ran Vova: first, he got out of the cage and a group of zoo employees tried to get it back, and then the real drama unfolded. And even today, many years later, not known for certain, what was its cause.

Vova elephant brought from India in the USSR at one year of age: he lived in Russia and then in a zoo in Ukraine. Here he even participated in circus performances and went on tour with his trainer Ivan Shcherban. When World War II began, the animals were evacuated. In Ukraine, there is only Vova: for the transport of such giant needed at least a huge vehicle, which in the conditions of the war was deficient. Even before the animals were when the enemy every day more deeply invaded the territory of our country? The trainer together with an elephant foot went south. Together, they have experienced a lot of hungry and cold days, sleepless nights. At one of the stations even came under fire "Messers" Elephant and Ivan closed his body. Years later, Ivan spoke about this case one of the Russian novelists, and he has included in his memoirs the story. But I think that the story of the old Soviet film "The Soldier and the Elephant" with Frunzik Mkrtchyan was decommissioned with Vova and Ivan, and then later transformed into a more ideologically right way. In the autumn of 1941 and the elephant trainer got to Yerevan, and Vova lived in a zoo under construction only.

Ivan soon sent to the front, but before he could get to Rostov, as he was called back: elephant refused to obey someone else. Ivan is back, and since then they have never left. Elephant calmly walked to the zoo, walked around his master and was very nervous when he disappeared from his sight. Vova helped with the housework when it constructed a new aviary, helping workers to drag Materials. He also looked after the daughters of Ivan and kids from the neighborhood sits on the back and drove to the zoo. But when the war ended and the zoo opened to visitors, Vova locked in a cage. 30 years he lived in Yerevan Zoo: over the years it has grown even more, and it increased the need for food.

But the rules of detention and the daily diet elephant remained the same. Somehow, hungry, Elephant blew one of the borders of the enclosure, climbed and climbed the mountainside, became eager to eat grass. Zoo workers realized that he lives from hand to mouth, but to increase the ration had no chance - Zoo implemented a strict limited number of products.And then, by unspoken agreement curb enclosure decided not to restore the animal to sometimes go into the wild.

But here June 28, 1970 Vova again blew cage and started to leave the zoo. They say that when Vova still allows you to freely walk around the area, he had the hobby: push the stalled car. We have a very steep climb and machines, who were traveling on the highway, often stopped near the zoo. So type Vova learned to help them. Sometimes it all day pushing her forehead "Willys" and "Studebakers," regardless of whether it was necessary or not. So on that day, coming out of the zoo, he began to run up to the machines, which caused panic among people.

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I do not really believe it, because if people knew that the elephant has a feature to push the car, why he jumped again, started to panic? I do not know ... My father was there and told me that the elephant attacked the trolley and began to push it: the people sitting in the cabin screaming in fear. The benefit of the driver abruptly pulled up and drove off. Vova then switched to light vehicles and injured his tusk. He was very sick and he was even more furious.
Yerevan City Council began to take emergency measures, to block the streets, and the elephant is surrounded by a huge crowd ran down the avenue Miasnikyan. The authorities summoned the soldiers and military equipment, but shoot universal favorite, they refused. Could not help and Ivan, which the elephant is not obeyed. Then the order came from Moscow and soldiers opened fire: a pair of bullets hit the elephant in the head, from which he was even more furious. But the bullets still struggled against the rocks and the rebound could get into people, so the shooting stopped almost immediately.

Now back to the zoo Vova could only be using the tank.

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Seeing the approaching car, the elephant ran toward the zoo. It seemed that there was hope that all blagopluchno resolved.But to get to the gate, the elephant refused to enter into them. Tried to push a wounded animal at the zoo tank, and then did the car became knocks him down and ironing. As my father said, the worst of his recollection, it was still breathing elephant on which floor climbed tank that uniformly moving to the beat of the latest rhythms of life elephant. As already evidenced by other sources, there fell unconscious and Ivan, and then for a long time was in the hospital, having survived the shock. A year later, he brought from Brest to Yerevan for a new elephant zoo.

But that a few years after the events described killed in a fit of rage Ivan ... .Spory why mad Vova, continues to this day.They say that after opening it became clear that kidney stones were an elephant, which in that day had an effect and caused terrible pain. According to another version, and it insists on my dad, elephant experienced the death of a friend Tikki, with whom he lived for 15 years. Incidentally, he is always going through the story again, when he talks. Maybe also because he was the namesake of an elephant?

Finally I will say, the next day after the tragedy of our national newspapers report that escaped from the zoo elephant safely returned back to the aviary. The country's leadership and Moscow could not afford to send the information about that in the USSR its army shoots at a universal favorite, even enraged. But the real story has become one of the legends of Yerevan, which its residents retell their children and grandchildren than a dozen years. Each different with new details. But always in these stories has been and remains one - a touching love for elephants and so we did not leave the guilt of what happened in our city.

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