Have you heard about the five elephants of Paris?

What do the Bastille, the Moulin Rouge, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Paris Zoo all have in common?

Yes, that’s right! They all have amazing elephant stories that you probably never heard about before. 

In this jumbo episode of The Earful Tower you’ll hear all five of them. 

Photos of the elephants

If you’re having trouble imagining the five beasts from the episode, here are some pictures to help. Plus some more information!

The Moulin Rouge Elephant

As explained in the podcast, there was a mega elephant in the gardens of the Moulin Rouge. For a franc, gentlemen were welcome to climb up into a room for an opium den with belly dancers.

It’s long gone today, but here’s a picture showing you where it was located. That’s its backside by the windmill.

Still want more? OK, you can see a modern take on the elephant during this scene from the film Moulin Rouge. That’s right, they’re dancing on the elephant’s head and its back!

The Bastille Elephant

Did you hear about the Elephant of the Bastille, that was torn down after it was infested by rats, but was forever immortalized by Victor Hugo? Yes, little Gavroche slept inside one of its legs.

This elephant was right there in the middle of the Bastille roundabout for thirty years, but was never made into the permanent bronze sculpture that Napoleon had imagined.

Does this sound familiar? Well you’d be hard pressed to miss this version of the Bastille elephant from the 2012 film Les Miserables, you can see it right at the start of this video.

The triumphal elephant

What about the Arc de Triomphe – did you know it was at one point possibly going to be a massive elephant instead? There were grand plans for this one in the late 1750s, but the designs were eventually rejected and the government went with the famed Arc instead.

Castor and Pollux

And lastly, what does elephant actually taste like? You’ll hear about that one too after a particularly bloody end to two Paris elephants from the Paris zoo.

Yes, Castor and Pollux were huge attractions at the Jardin des Plantes zoo until the Prussians put Paris under siege in 1870, forcing them to eat everything they could get their teeth into. Including elephants, sadly.

Anyway, that’s it for now. Too many elephants in one day and we’ll all go crazy.

Thanks to my cohost Lina and my Patreon supporters

And here’s today’s episode again in case you scrolled straight past it. Go and subscribe on your phone, it’s a lot more fun that way 🙂

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