Inspired by Millennium Elephant’s little moan, I’ve put together the DEFINITIVE and ABSOLUTELY CORRECT list of the world’s 10 most powerful elephants.
Like any such power list, my list is by definition correct, flawless, unimpeachable and put together with top secret methodology that you can’t be told.
So, drum roll please, here is the list in reverse order:
10. Five, the first elephant known to play the harmonica. The West Midlands music scene has never been the same since.
9. Packy, the Oregon elephant. An obvious inclusion.
8. Ruby, the painting elephant who died in 1998. A path-breaker for artistic elephants everywhere.
7. The four elephants holding up Discworld (counted as one job lot). Holding up a whole world is an important role. But rather undermined by it being a fictional planet.
6. Batyr, the Kazakhstan talking genius (allegedly). More controversial than a surprise Olympic winner who missed their drug tests, was Batyr leading the way in elephant-human communications or the tool of gullible or dishonest people?
5. Lin Wang, the Chinese elephant who saw military service during the Second World War but then won over the crowds at Taipei Zoo during the post-war years.
4. Suleiman, given by John III (King of Portugal) to Maximilian II (the Holy Roman Emperor). Never has an elephant played such a key role in international diplomacy.
3. Hansken, the seventeenth-century elephant sketched by Rembrandt. Best known for pickpocketing and gun firing, Hansken was one elephant to stay on the right side of.
2. Jumbo. Probably the most controversial elephant in this list: lovable elephant who won over humans or grotesque stereotyping with an unpleasant message that the only good animal is an anthropomorphic one?
1. But top of the pile comes Surus, the bravest of elephants from Hannibal’s army.
(And, yes, a secret conspiracy of the inner cabal of barchartists has ensured the exclusion of a certain elephant from this list.)