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Friday, February 03, 2012

CRYPTOZOOLOGY: Update on the alleged pygmy elephant specimens from Copenhagen University

Following on from yesterday's post about Matt Salusbury's quest for pygmy elephants, he has sent along another email from our old friend Lars Thomas.

RE: Copenhagen University expedition led by Francois Edmund Blanc to South Cameroon 1955 to collect pygmy elephants
Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2012 20:57:26 +0100
From: Lars Thomas
To: Matt Salusbury

Hi Matt,

I have just received a copy of the original log entry for the two pygmy elephants in the museum's collections. The two specimens (No. 2980 and 2981) were received on Nov. 15 1955. They were shot by Francois Edmond-Blanc in January of that year, and given to the museum by the aforementioned Bøje Benzon.

  • 2980 was a fully grown female, as it had milk in its mammary glands. It had a height of 2,02 m and a lenght of 3,05 m. The museum has the complete skeleton of that.

  • 2981 was also a female, but a younger an considerably smaller animal. Height 1,85 m and lenght 2,73 m. The museum has the skull of this one.

The museum also holds 2 ears, a tale and the sole of one foot, but it is not certain from which of these two animals.

The animals were shot close to the village of Yassonkon, close to the banks of the Nyong River south of Edea. The two animals were from a herd of 12. The 2980 specimen was the biggest of the herd, and Edmond-Blanc apparantly shot it thinking it was a male. The other animal was of medium size in the herd.

There is also a transcript of a letter from Edmond-Blanc where he writes something about the difficulty of hunting in the area, as the visibility is very poor. It is apparantly difficult to separate males and females, as both have fairly small tusks.

I have a pdf of the original log entry which I can send you if you want. It is in Danish, so you won't be able to read a word of it, but at least you can see what it looks like.

As for the photos, it might take a couple of weeks. The various beetle-infested specimens has to be frozen for several days, and there is not enough room for all of them at once. Until that has been taken vare of, none of it is availabe for photographing. But I'll let you know as soon as they become available for me to take some pictures.



If you want to put this on the CFZ website as well - feel free.

1 comment:

Loren Coleman said...

I'm assuming Lars means "tail," not "tale," right?