November 2011 - Miss Chic the Jacksonville Zoo’s first Elephant
Jacksonville Zoo History 1914-2014
Featured November 2011
Alan F. Rost, Biological Programs Registrar and unofficial Zoo historian
Miss Chic the Jacksonville Zoo’s first Elephant
On July 20, 1925, the Florida Times-Union reported that St. Elmo “Chic” Acosta, Commissioner of Parks, had raised $1,959.51 in the Baby Elephant fund with $1,040.49 to go. “Miss Chic,” named after St. Elmo “Chic” Acosta, was a three year-old female Indian elephant that arrived in Jacksonville on July 12, 1926. Reported to have been wild born, she arrived via ship from Hamburg, Germany and had been purchased from an internationally known animal dealer named Carl Hagenbeck of Germany for the price of $3,000. Much of this money had been raised by collecting pennies by and from the children of Jacksonville. Miss Chic was a favorite with the Jacksonville community and probably the Zoo’s single most recognized member of the animal collection until her death in 1963.
Miss Chic is reputed to have died of her fourth heart attack in as many years in November 1963. She is reputed to be buried near the front of our Zoo grounds although no one currently knows exactly where.