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Knies Kinderzoo Thisiam - Siam's Living Legacy

Discussion in 'Switzerland' started by Sarus Crane, 16 Oct 2021.

  1. Sarus Crane

    Sarus Crane Well-Known Member

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    As some of ZooChat may know I am a HUGE fan of Siam (1946-1997), the massive, legendary Asian tusker that used to live in the Paris Zoo and since 2001 can be found in the Musee National D'Histoire Naturelle in the Jardin Des Plantes, a 15-minute walk from Notre Dame. He was an incredible animal and I never had the chance to see him alive. I first became aware of him in the DK Eyewitness book Elephant in 2002 where he makes several appearances. He was not only a giant spledid tusker 10.5 ft tall and 7 tons, but also was perhaps the most famous elephant in Europe since Jumbo having come over from Asia and worked in Circus Knie, starring in Pierre Etaix's 1965 film Yoyo and then spending his retirement in the Paris (Vincennes) Zoo until his death in September 1997.

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    Photo by @Middle Man

    Siam's Installation 2001 by Sarus Crane posted 14 Jul 2018 at 11:05 PM

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    However, over his time at Vincennes Zoo he had over 10 offspring, 2 of which survive to this day a cow named Nina at Le Pal Zoo and Thisiam at Knies Kinderzoo. Siam's most enduring legacy is that of his son Thisiam born in 1998. He is very much his father's son and has the tall cranium and potential to become a large tusker. At his current age, 23 he already is the size of his father when he passed at 7 tons and 3.2 meters (10.5 ft). His tusks are a little shorter than his dad's at that age but he is still very much a spectacular specimen. It's also cool that he's at the zoo based on his father's alma-mater, Circus Knie. I can guarantee in time that he will grow to be a Siam 2.0! It's only unfortunate that other siblings of his such as Sammy and Fridolin never made it to their prime. They would've both looked spectacular!

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    Will he grow larger than his legendary father? Will he stay at Knie Kinderzoo or will he eventually move onto another facility? Perhaps Paris can build a brand new Asian Elephant exhibit and he can truly follow in Siam's famous footsteps!
     

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  2. Mr.Ivory

    Mr.Ivory Well-Known Member

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    I would love to see Thisiam move back to Paris with Alix, Malicia, Angele , Ziha, Arun, and Samu to kick start their breeding program
     
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  3. Sarus Crane

    Sarus Crane Well-Known Member

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    I forgot to add that this year Siam would've been 75!
     
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  4. Mr.Ivory

    Mr.Ivory Well-Known Member

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    He would have been a very impressive bull with some of the longest tusks ever recorded bin a captive bull elephant
     
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  5. IndianRhino

    IndianRhino Well-Known Member

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    I wonder how his grandsons Tom and Jack (through daughter Nina) will turn out, hopefully they end up just as impressive as their grandpa and uncle!
     
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  6. Sarus Crane

    Sarus Crane Well-Known Member

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    I'll have to look them up! I'd love to find out where in Thailand Siam came from. I wonder if the bulls there have similar-looking tall heads. Now that I think of it Siam's line look very much like Palaeoloxodon recki atavus, (see below) from northern Kenya's Turkana Basin 1.88-2 million years ago which has similar cranial proportions, but with overall longer legs. Paleontologists have considered as recently as this year that P.r.atavus should now be reclassified as Elephas atavus based on its cranial characteristics. When you look at both Elephas atavus and Siam you realize that Siam looks alot like atavus but with shorter proportioned legs and a convex-shaped back.

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    The only elephants in the US that can rival them is Dalip (Miami) and his son Spike (Smithsonian's National Zoo). However, they look more like mammoths than regular generic Asian Elephants with their sloping backs. Regardless, its incredible that Siam looks like a throwback to earlier Elephas from Africa, much like how Raja Gaj from Bardia National Park resembled Elephas hysudricus.
     
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  7. Gil

    Gil Well-Known Member

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    I would not understand if Jack dosen't become a beautiful bull, as his grandfathers (Siam and Maxi) were two of the most impressive bulls living in captivity.
     
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  8. Yassa

    Yassa Well-Known Member

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    Tom looks a lot like his father Chang, I dont think he will resemble Siam as an adult. But we can hope for Jack!
     
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