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For the British football commentator known as "Motty", see John Motson.

Motty was the only proven hybrid between an Asian and an African elephant. The male calf was born on July 11, 1978 in Chester Zoo, to Asian mother Sheba and African father Jumbolino ("Bubbles").



The calf's cheek, ears (long with pointed lobes) and legs (longer and slimmer) were of the African type, while nail numbers (5 front, 4 hind) and the single trunk finger were Asian. The wrinkled trunk was like an African elephant. The forehead was sloping with one dome and two smaller domes behind it. The body was African in type, but had an Asian-type centre hump and an African-type rear hump.

Cause of death

Despite intensive human care, Motty died of an umbilical infection 12 days after birth. Post mortem revealed death to be due to necrotic-enterocolitis and E. coli septicaemia. He is preserved as a mounted specimen at the Natural History Museum, London.

Other hybrids

There are unconfirmed rumours of three other hybrid elephants born in zoos or circuses, all are said to have been deformed and did not survive.


Although the Asian elephant Elephas maximus and the African elephant Loxodonta africana belong to different genera, they share the same number of chromosomes, thus making hybridisation at least in this respect theoretically possible.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Motty". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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