Scroll down for the video where reporter Cliff Clifford compares his wife to an elephant and is subsequently attacked by the 12,000 pound elephant he is standing in front of. Clifford’s reaction to the attack shocked viewers. Watch video here.
Elephants used in Corporal Punishment
Execution by elephant was a common method of capital punishment in South and Southeast Asia, and particularly in India. Asian elephants were used to crush, dismember, or torture captives in public executions. The animals were trained and versatile, both able to kill victims immediately and to torture them slowly over a prolonged period. Employed by royalty, the elephants were used to signify both the ruler’s absolute power and his ability to control wild animals.
The Romans, Carthaginians and Macedonian Greeks also used elephants for executions on occasion but primarily used them for military purposes. Punic Carthaginian military commander Hannibal Barca and his men crossed the Alps riding elephants.
A 1996 Indian film directed by Mira Nair features a scene depicting execution by elephant.
The Biggest Elephants in the World
The biggest elephants in the world are African Bush elephants, Loxodonta africana, with males weighing 12,000 pounds and measuring 11 feet high at the shoulders. The largest elephant on record was shot in Angola in 1956. This bull elephant weighed roughly 24,000 lb (11,000 kg) and had a shoulder height of 3.96 meters (13.0 ft).
The largest elephant that ever existed is the Songhua River mammoth from the late Pleistocene Epoch which ended about 11,700 years ago.
From north eastern Asia, it was 5.3 meters tall(over 17 feet) and 4.8-9 meters(over 16 feet) high at its shoulders.