Teddy, the Killer Elk

Teddy, the Killer Elk

In the early 20th century, the members of the Elks Lodge of Ashland purchased a seven-point elk from a game reserve in California. Given to the city of Ashland as a gift, the bulky mammal was affectionately named Teddy.

Teddy’s enclosure was a pen in the zoo at the upper end of Lithia Park. After many long years in the public eye, old age caused a major attitude shift in the elk, and he became surly and mean. Teddy’s keepers consequently decided to set him free.

Taking him up to the Ashland Gap near Mount Ashland, the zoo keepers released Teddy into the wilds of the Siskiyous. However, upon returning to the zoo, they found the beast waiting for them at the entrance to his former pen.

Shortly thereafter, Teddy turned on and attacked Rolland Jordan, one of the zoo keepers who helped care for the elk. Jordan died from his injuries, an unfortunate turn of events that brought about Teddy’s death sentence.

After being taken up to a slaughterhouse on Oak Street and humanely killed, Teddy was stuffed and mounted in the lodge. However, not before he had provided Ashland Elks members with meat for four major banquets hosted in the year after his death. Even after all these years, Teddy is still very much a member of the organization; his head has remained as a familiar welcome to visitors since 1936.