Carl Akeley's Fighting African Elephants | Summary and Q&A

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December 11, 2013
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thebrainscoop
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Carl Akeley's Fighting African Elephants

TL;DR

Carl Akeley's expedition to Africa with his wife Delia resulted in the creation of "The Fighting African Elephants" exhibit, reflecting their troubled marriage.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did Delia contribute to the acquisition of the elephants?

Delia took down the bull elephant, as Carl had already taken down two elephants in self-defense.

Q: How did Carl preserve the elephant hides?

Carl used a vegetable tan method that preserved the hides without allowing them to rot, making them pliable for mounting.

Q: How were the replicas of the elephants created?

Metal rods and the elephants' own bones were used to create frames, which were then covered with the sculpted hides in numbered sections.

Q: What led to the decline of Carl and Delia's marriage?

Delia became obsessed with a monkey named J.T. Jr., which eventually led to her fleeing to Europe and filing for divorce after a monkey bite incident.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Marshall Field funded a trip for Carl and Delia Akeley to Africa to bring back two African Elephants for display.

  • Delia took down the bull elephant in self-defense, while Carl prepared the hides for mounting with a new preservation method.

  • The elephants were meticulously sculpted and displayed as "The Fighting African Elephants," reflecting the couple's troubled relationship.

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