Kelley Cousins at Dublin Zoo writes:
“in a particularly large unveiling ceremony at the Kaziranga Forest Trail, Dublin Zoo welcomed one of the most highly anticipated arrivals in many years – Upali an Asian bull elephant. Upali arrived from Chester Zoo at midnight on Thursday July 5.
Upali is now the largest animal at Dublin Zoo. He is 17 years old, measures 3 metres tall and weighs over 6,000kgs, equivalent to the weight of ten Friesian cows.
Upali’s arrival is a momentous development for both the Zoo and the international breeding programme as he joins three breeding females – sisters Bernhardine and Yasmin, and Yasmin’s calf Anak.
It is expected that the elephants will mate soon and double the size of the Dublin Zoo herd over the coming years.”
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.