Jumbo the elephant: a collection of information gathered
concerning the link between the heart of Jumbo the elephant and Cornell
Cornell University. College of Veterinary Medicine. Flower Sprecher Veterinary
Library. Reference Dept.
Forms of Material:
Copies of articles, newsletters, and web
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell
Copies of articles, newsletters, and web pages regarding
Cornell University's connection to Jumbo the Elephant.
Collection material in English
Cornell University received the heart of Jumbo the elephant about 1889 in association
with specimens acquired by Professor Burt Green Wilder. It no longer exists. According to
the journal American medicine, Volume 7, 1904, Professor. Burt G. Wilder was planning to
dissect the heart of Jumbo with a group of students. This article also gives the
dimensions of Jumbo's heart as, 28 inches long x 24 inches wide, with walls of the
artery 5/8 of an inch thick, large enough to contain an ordinary heart, and those of the
ventricle 3 inches thick. The weight was given as around 40 pounds. The specimen jar
that housed at least a portion of Jumbo’s heart is still stored at the Cornell Veterinary School. It was
featured in an exhibition in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections. The jar was found empty in the basement
of Stimson Hall by Dr. Howard Evans in the 1940s. It had a label attached saying Jumbo's heart. The jar lid has loops in the
glass designed for hooks to suspend the specimen.
Compiled in part by the Reference Department at the Flower-Sprecher Veterinary
Library, Cornell University, 2001.