I Shot an Elephant In Alfred, Just to Watch Him Die


ALFRED — No one will ever know why Daniel Davis Jr. hid in the bushes alongside what is now Route 4, took careful aim and fired two musket shots, killing Old Bet on July 24, 1816. There are plenty of tales that go around about Davis’ reasons for killing the elephant, which had been on tour through Maine when she was felled by gunshot in Alfred. Davis was arrested and charged with trespassing, according to Alfred historian Bruce Tucker, who gave a talk about Old Bet to the Waterborough Historical Society Thursday. Davis was committed to York County Jail in Alfred on Sept. 5, 1816 and bail was set at $500 – a hefty sum. According to Tucker, Davis posted bail and no further action was taken. “It never came to trial,” he said. (read more at the Journal Tribune)