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Dissection and Vivisection

Dissection and Vivisection


[1] The death of an elephant, Dublin, 1681, 2012, Colm, published by Irish Archaeology


Dissected Elephant

Anatomical Account of Elephant Accidentally Burned in Dublin, on Fryday, June 17. in the Year 1681, selection from folded plate, 1682, printed for Sam. Smith: London, UK

This elephant, before its untimely demise, was kept by Mr. Wilkins as a viewing spectacle for those willing to pay a fee. After its holding booth caught fire, the public raided the corpse for memorabilia of this exotic creature. Realizing the potential for further monetary gain, Wilkins reclaimed as much of the animal as possible. With so little time accorded by the growing stench of the cadaver and the waiting denizens of public thieves, a band of local butchers performed the dissection under the scrutiny of Allen Mullen, who drew the presented skeleton, skull, and a few organs.[1] As this creature entertained and awed in life, so in death it continued to fascinated the general public and the aspiring experts of the natural world.