Where did Taiwan's superstar elephants come from? Come to the National Taiwan Museum in Taipei and find out at "Watch Out! Elephants Coming!"
There Were Elephants Native to Taiwan?
At present, there are two main places where elephant fossils have been found in Taiwan — in the Cailiao river basin in Tainan's Zuozhen District, and in the Penghu Channel between Taiwan proper and the Penghu archipelago. Why did they disappear?
Through a wealth of images and fossil displays, a section of this exhibition is dedicated to exploring Taiwan's elephant fossil sites and helping visitors understand the biodiversity of prehistoric Taiwan, how the environment has changed, and why the elephants have disappeared.
Taiwan’s Superstar Elephants — Lin Wang, A-Pei & Malan
In 1942, during World War II, ROC General Sun Li-jen's forces were victorious over Japanese forces in Myanmar and they rescued 13 Asian elephants from the Japanese military, including Lin Wang and A-Pei. Some of the elephants died during military service, others died during long-distance treks, and some were sent to major cities elsewhere.
Ultimately Lin Wang and A-Pei made it to Taiwan, settling down at an army training base in Kaohsiung. A-Pei was unable to adjust to life in Taiwan and passed away, leaving Lin Wang alone to accompany General Sun as he trained new men.
In 1954, the middle-aged Lin Wang was then sent to the Taipei Zoo. When he arrived, the zoo brought in a young female elephant, Malan, to be Lin Wang's mate, and the couple soon become household names across Taiwan.
Years passed and the two grew old together, with Malan eventually passing away from heart failure on Oct. 14, 2002. On Feb. 26 the following year, Lin Wang also died peacefully at the old age of 86.
This exhibition has a special area dedicated to these celebrity elephants, finally bringing all three together and reuniting Lin Wang and A-Pei for the first time in over 60 years.
‘Watch Out! Elephants Coming!’