Statue of Jackson the Elephant – Somerset, Pennsylvania - Atlas Obscura

Statue of Jackson the Elephant

In the parking lot of a fast food restaurant, a statue memorializing a prolific bull elephant.  

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A life-size statue of Jackson the elephant stands in the parking lot of the Eat’nPark, just south of exit 110, off the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The statue not only honors Jackson, but also Somerset County’s elephant breeding ranch.

After Jackson joined the Pittsburgh Zoo in 1994, his prolific mating ability quickly filled the available elephant space at the zoo, which prompted it to create the International Conservation Center in Fairhope. The 724-acre property has a 10,000-square-foot elephant barn, with heated floors and a sand pit arena.

Jackson was captured in Africa when he was about three years old and spent nearly two decades with the circus. After coming to Pittsburgh in 1994, he left in 2002 for three years in Orlando, where he fathered two daughters at Disney Animal Kingdom, before retiring to the breeding center.

A plaque next to the statue commemorates the elephant.

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June 19, 2020

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