Unfortunately, on the night of Friday the 17th of June 1681, things went disastrously wrong for this zoological enterprise. At approximately 3am the wooden booth [near the Custom House on Parliament Street] caught fire and was quickly enveloped by flames. The elephant, trapped inside, was overcome by the fire and smoke. News of the elephant’s death soon drew a large crowd of onlookers, many of whom had not been able to see the living animal due to the high admission price. It was a motley crew and things soon got out of hand. As the flames died down many of the onlookers rushed forward and attempted to carry parts of the dead animal away.