Taipei's Elephant to be included in Guinness Book of Records

Central News Agency

Grandpa" Lin Wang, an elephant that had become a fixture at Taipei City Zoo died from heart failure on Wednesday 26th February at the grand old age of 86. He will be cited in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's oldest elephant in captivity.

Tai Sheng-yi, chairman of the Asian Witness Center of the Guinness Book of World Records, said he has sent a message to the Guinness World Records headquarters in Britain asking it to list Lin Wang as having been the world's oldest elephant held in captivity.

Lin Wang was born in Myanmar and his extraordinary story began in 1943 when he was captured by the Republic of China army from Japanese troops in Myanmar at the height of World War II. He was about 26 years old at the time. He was brought to southern Taiwan from Mainland China in 1947 and donated to the Taipei City Zoo by Gen. Sun Li-jen in 1954, where he became an icon for many Taiwanese people, young and old, over the past five decades.

"Lin Wang brought us happiness for over half a century and I have asked the Guinness headquarters to include his name in the Guinness Book," Tai said.

At the moment, the oldest elephant listed in the Guinness Book is Lakshmikutty, a female elephant who died at an Indian temple in 1997 at the age of 84.

Meanwhile, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou posthumously granted Lin Wang an honorary citizen's certificate at a ceremony held at the city zoo in memory of the famous elephant.

The zoo announced that Feb. 28 to March 2 would be the memorial period for Lin Wang. During this time, students and young children from around the island were allowed free entry to the zoo to mourn Lin Wang's passing.

An exhibit of photos and illustrations featuring Lin Wang's life story is being held at his former pen --, affectionately called the White House by zoo staff -- in memory of the beloved beast. Visitors are welcome to leave words on a whiteboard erected at the site to express their fond memories of Lin Wang.