Oldest Elephant Ever Recorded
Elephants are gigantic gentle creatures that have been known to help humans with agriculture and other heavy tasks. Most Asian elephants have been revered as holy by different religions. Hinduism have named a god that has a head of an elephant in honor of how the elephant has brought them so much bounty. Elephants usually live around 80 years in the wild and 50 to 60 years in captivity. Asian elephants are found to be more interactive with humans than their African counterpart. Asian elephants are highly intelligent and self-aware. They have been known to seek safer grounds whenever they sense an earthquake and tsunami is coming. Aside from their intelligence, they are known to be very playful with humans.
The record for being the oldest elephant in the world comes from a very famous elephant. Lin Wang was an Asian elephant that holds the title up until this day. The elephant served the Chinese Expeditionary Force during the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937 to 1945. This amazing animal was one of the three elephants that were sent to Taiwan to train new troops. Out of the three, the first one died on the way to Taiwan. The second one died due to the exhaustion of transporting logs and other tasks that help build the army base in Kaohsiung. This made Lin Wang the only elephant to be able to help the army and was the only elephant to have lived through the original days when he was still in Burma.
After the war, the army decided to give Lin Wang to the Taipei Zoo where he met his partner Malan. Ling Wang’s name means King of the Forest in Chinese. Throughout the years, this animal would enjoy his prosperous life in the zoo. In 1983, the zoo threw his first ever birthday party for his 66th birthday. It was always celebrated on the last Sunday of October.
In early 2003, he suffered arthritis on his left hind leg. This also caused him to lose his appetite and further more complications started to rise. His condition dwindled until he finally died in February 26 of that year. His memorial was visited by thousands of people and left cards and flowers for the adoration of the renowned animal. Lin Wang died at the age of 86. He is also the longest living elephant in captivity. He is also a cultural icon as well as an honorable soldier for the army. His life has mirrored the different eras of the country including the war in China and other memorable events of the country.
In 2004, Lin Wang was immortalized as a life size specimen in Taipei Zoo where everyone can still visit him and pay respects for the animal that had been the people’s friend since the beginning. An animated film has already been in production to commemorate the beloved animal.
Truly a wonderful breed of animal, Lin Wang has become a cultural icon and a lesson to all people that animals do have a heart and that they serve greater purpose in life.