The Destruction of the Elephant detroyed at Exeter 'Change': 1826
© Museum of London
Full image caption
The Destruction of the Elephant destroyed at Exeter 'Change'. From the 1770s, Exeter Change in the Strand was occupied by a succession of showmen who dealt in 'foreign birds and beasts'. Edward Cross's exhibit of Chunee the elephant was a star attraction for many years. At times Chunee famously became irritable, probably due to frustration at being confined to such a small cage. On 26 February 1826 Chunee became aggressive and violent. There were fears that he would destroy his cage. Cross was forced to put him down. Civilian and military firing squads failed in their attempts to kill him. In the end, a keeper mortally wounded him with a spear. Chunee sank to the ground and died with 152 balls of ammunition inside him. A handcoloured engraving, printed and sold by W. Belch, 25 High Street, Borough, London, 1826 .
1826 AD - 1826 AD