Tyke (elephant)

Tyke (elephant)

Tyke (1974 – August 20, 1994)[1] was a female circus elephant who on August 20, 1994, in Honolulu, Hawaii, killed her trainer, Allen Campbell, and gored her groomer Dallas Beckwith causing severe injuries during a Circus International performance before hundreds of horrified spectators at the Neal Blaisdell Center. Tyke then bolted from the arena and ran through downtown streets of Kakaako for more than thirty minutes. Police fired 86 shots at Tyke, who eventually collapsed from the wounds onto a blue car and died.


Video footage

Since she was performing at the time, the majority of Tyke's attack was caught on tape including the famous video image of the African elephant attacking publicist Steve Hirano outside of the event. Video footage is available from PETA.[2]

A history of problems

According to PETA, this wasn't the first time Tyke had gotten loose and run out of control. Tyke had caused three other incidents before:

  • On April 21, 1993, 16 months before the incident in Hawaii, Tyke ripped through the front doors of the Jaffa Mosque during a performance and ran out of control for an hour in Altoona, Pennsylvania. An estimated 4,500 school children had to leave the building as it was evacuated, and the rampage caused more than $14,000 in damage.[1]
  • In an affidavit obtained by the USDA from a circus worker the next day on April 22, Tyke apparently had also attacked a tiger trainer while the circus was in Altoona, Pennsylvania.[1]
  • It was also reported on July 23, 1993 that Tyke "ran amok at the North Dakota State Fair in Minot, N.D., trampling and injuring a handler and frightening the crowd as she ran uncontrolled for 25 minutes."[3]


In the aftermath, Tyke became the poster elephant of circus tragedies and a symbol for animal rights. Dozens of lawsuits were filed against the city, the state, the circus and Tyke's owner, John Cuneo Jr. and his Hawthorn Corp. Honolulu trial lawyer William Fenton Sink successfully sued Cuneo on behalf of numerous plaintiffs, including young children, who suffered psychological injuries after witnessing Tyke's killing. The suits were settled out of court and the amounts were never made public. Based on Mr. Sink's work in the Tyke case, Animal Rights Hawaii renamed its prestigious Order of the Innocent award to The William Fenton Sink Award for Defense of Animals in honor of his work.[4]

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tyke — can refer to:* A child * The Yorkshire dialect or a Yorkshireman * A Mixed breed dog * Tyke the elephant, a circus elephant * Tyke, a character in Tom and Jerry the son of Spike, friend to Jerry and nuisance to Tom. * Tyke Peacock, an American… …   Wikipedia

  • Mary (elephant) — The hanging of Mary Mary was a five ton Asian elephant who performed in the Sparks World Famous Shows circus. Her death is sometimes interpreted as a cautionary tale of circus animal abuse during the early twentieth century. Contents …   Wikipedia

  • Topsy (elephant) — Topsy (born circa 1875, died January 4, 1903), was a domesticated elephant with the Forepaugh Circus at Coney Island s Luna Park. Because she had killed three men in as many years (including a severely abusive trainer who attempted to feed her a… …   Wikipedia

  • List of historical elephants — A list of historical elephants by name. Contents 1 A F 2 G O 3 P Z 4 See also 5 References …   Wikipedia

  • Circus — This article is about the event. For other uses, see Circus (disambiguation). 3 ring circus redirects here. For the Martin and Lewis film, see 3 Ring Circus. Circus Advertisement for the Barnum Bailey Circus, 1900 …   Wikipedia

  • List of Tom & Jerry Kids episodes — This is a list of episodes for the FOX Kids animated television series Tom Jerry Kids.[1] Contents 1 Episodes 1.1 Season 1 (1990) 1.2 Season 2 (1991 199 …   Wikipedia

  • List of Tom and Jerry characters — This is a list of characters in the Tom and Jerry cartoon short series. Most of these characters did not appear in all of the movies. Contents 1 Main characters 1.1 Tom Cat 1.2 Jerry Mouse …   Wikipedia

  • List of Tom and Jerry Tales episodes — Cry Uncle redirects here. For the 1971 film, see Cry Uncle!. DJ Jerry redirects here. For the singer and songwriter, see Jerry Lo. This is a list of Tom and Jerry Tales episodes. Included with it are the first transmission dates and production… …   Wikipedia

  • Chunee — An anonymous cartoon depicting Chunee s death, 1826 Chunee (or Chuny) was an Indian elephant who was brought to Regency London in 1809 or 1810. Chunee was originally exhibited at the Covent Garden Theatre, but was bought by circus owner Stephani… …   Wikipedia

  • Steve Hirano — (1946 December 19, 2003) was an Hawaiian lobbyist and public relations manager. He made international news on August 20, 1994 when a rogue elephant named Tyke from a Blaisdell Center circus, for whom he was serving as publicist, charged and… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.