In Drunken Zoo Safari, Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen Shoots and Kills Watoto the Elephant

Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen standing over the freshly shot corpse the Woodland Park Zoo's beloved Watoto.

Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen triumphantly poses over the freshly shot corpse of the Woodland Park Zoo’s beloved Watoto the elephant.

Sad. But it wouldn’t be the first time Blethen shot a defenseless animal.

And yes, we doublechecked with our sources, and we stand by our work. We always correct mistakes, but there is no mistake here.


  1. 3

    Dale Sizemore spews:

    Come on-That picture is over 60 yrs old, Something needs to be done, but lets use current example’s Please

  2. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    How does a zoo dispose of an elephant carcass? Feed it to the lions and crocs? It won’t fit in a dumpster. Call Cleanscapes? Maybe they have a special Elephant Carcass Truck. I’ve never really wondered about it until now, but I’m curious as all get out! There’s an interesting feature story for some intrepid journalist to write up!

  3. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Delving deeper, the internet as usual provides answers. From Yahoo! Answers: ” As someone who has worked in a zoo … I can tell you how my particular zoo disposed of [dead elephants]. … Most zoos use incinerators to dispose of carcasses … [but] elephants, on the other hand, have too much fat to be incinerated. In our situation the elephants were precisely dismembered … [t]he different pieces … were taken to various parts of the zoo and buried in unmarked graves so that nature can do its work …. However, the tusks were sent away to avoid stupid people attempting to dig them up. It is my understanding that only a few people know the locations of all the graves.”

    My next question is: How do you dispose of a dead newspaper?

    I suppose the answer is similar. You dismember it, recycle what you can, burn the gristle, and bury the rest in scattered hidden graves to keep graverobbers away. You erect a little memorial stone on the site that says, “The Seattle Times was here.” You set aside a bottle of Two Buck Chuck for the last man, and hold annual get-togethers at a Red Lion until the last fading journalist picks up the TBC, gazes wistfully into the rose liquid for a while, then says, “Ah, to hell with my doctor” and ties on one last roaring good drunk and then drops dead. It never was that good a newspaper, but it was the only newspaper he had, so it was good to die along with its memory. Then guys in hardhats pull up the stone, grind it into gravel, the dozers move in, and pretty soon there’s a construction crane’s shadow falling across the block as high-rise condos climb toward the sky.

  4. 6

    William Gerdes spews:

    The sad thing is, Watoto had to sell off his elephant barn dirt cheap because his heirs weren’t going to be able to afford to keep it. Thank you oppressive Washington State elephant death tax!

  5. 8

    Dave spews:

    @3: Definitely more than 60. That’s Theodore Roosevelt; it’s probably a little over 100 years old. T.R. died in January of 1919.

    But now I’m sounding like Goldy, what with citing public records and whatnot… Let’s just leave it with it being Frank Blethen at the Woodland Park Zoo Friday. Y’know, doublechecked and all that…