Queenie: one elephant’s story

The true story of one of the most famous elephants of all time: Queenie, the gentle Indian elephant. Evoking a time when elephants were giving rides in zoos all around the world, the true story of Queenie follows her from her birth in an Indian jungle to Australia’s Melbourne Zoo, where she lived for more than forty years, giving rides to children. Thousands of kids loved Queenie, celebrated her birthday, and sent her letters.

But in an event still not fully understood, Queenie crushed one of her keepers in late 1944. Was she mistreated or bored? Was it an accident? No one knows, but zoos have changed since Queenie’s time.

Plainspoken and honest, this gentle account shows the good, the bad, and the evolution of zoo philosophy. Queenie’s story is a thought-provoking stepping stone for discussion of a complex, difficult topic.

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