In 1950, an elephant fell out of a monorail in Germany

Illustration for article titled In 1950, an elephant fell out of a monorail in Germany

In 1950, a three-year-old elephant named Tuffi was forced to ride a public monorail in Wuppertal, Germany. The animal was loaded aboard as a promotion for the Althoff Circus. This ride was supposed to be a lighthearted affair, but the world quickly learned that pachyderms and monorails simply do not mix.


Even though Tuffi was accustomed to train rides, the swaying tram upset the elephant such that she trumpeted, charged, and sent passengers scrambling for cover. 40 feet above the Wupper River, Tuffi decided that she had enough. The animal burst through a window and plummeted into the water below.

Miraculously, this monumentally bad plan to force an elephant to ride a monorail did not result in any fatalities, human or tetrapod — Tuffi (and some of the passengers) suffered only minor injuries. Although no photos exist of this incident, it has since been immortalized by the above, old timey, and widely circulated photo manipulation of Tuffi careening into the Wupper trunk-first.

[Werner Steinbach via Reddit]



Wuppertal is my home town's twin town. In all the years my school did a student-exchange programme with a school in Wuppertal, why was I never informed they had a monorail, never mind a monorail with a history of elephant-related high jinks!

I might've wanted to take part if that vital information had been shared.