Valdosta, GA Elephant Crushes Keeper, Nov 1902
ELEPHANT KILLS KEEPER.
BEAST TERRIFIED BY A WRECK CRUSHES HIM TO DEATH IN A CAR.
Savannah, Ga., Nov. 23 -- GYPSY, a big elephant belonging to a traveling show, went crazy six miles from Valdosta yesterday afternoon and killed her keeper, JAMES O'ROURKE. The circus train had been in a wreck at Tifton early in the day when several animal cars were wrecked and two or three trained horses killed.
GYPSY was in a highly nervous state when the train pulled out for Valdosta, the next show point.
Six miles out from that town GYPSY became so restless that O'ROURKE entered her car as the train stopped at a small station to try to quiet her. Immediately the mad brute attacked the man and crushed his life out against the side of the car. O'ROURKE for some reason did not close the door of the car after him, so after killing her keeper, GYPSY escaped to the woods. Her absence was noted before the train left the station and a hunt was organized. The big beast was shot a number of times before she succumbed to rifle balls in the breast.
O'ROURKE'S body was taken to Valdosta, where it was given a spectacular burial this afternoon, being taken to the cemetery in a circus wagon drawn by six white horses. His home was in New Orleans, where he had a wife and family.
The New York Times New York 1902-11-24