Category Archive: Famous Animals

Oct 18

The Real Moby-Dick?

‘Call me Ishmael.’ Even one hundred and sixty-two years to the day after it was first published, the opening line to Herman Melville’s famous book, Moby-Dick, is considered one of the most recognizable in Western literature. The novel centres around a whaleship under the command of Captain Ahab that seeks out to destroy a ferocious …

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Sep 13

‘Murderous Mary’, the Circus Elephant

Today (or at least when you read this) is September 13, which in addition to being my birthday is also the ninety-seventh anniversary of the death of ‘Murderous Mary’, a circus elephant that killed her trainer. It’s not a terribly uncommon event in itself; during the nineteenth century and early twentieth, many elephants were kept …

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Sep 10

Fowl Play: Mike the Headless Chicken

Exactly sixty-eight years ago to this day, in 1945, farmer Lloyd Olsen from Colorado, United States, had his mother-in-law round for supper. As per the request of his wife, Lloyd went into the backyard to kill one of their chickens to be cooked. Lloyd picked a young cockerel named Mike, took his axe and chopped …

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