COLONEL JOHN BLASHFORD-SNELL CBE
COLONEL JOHN BLASHFORD-SNELL CBE

Footage of the huge Indian elephant, known as Rajagaj, taken whilst on expedition to Bardia, Nepal in 1992.

The clip was shot in Bardia, Nepal by an expedition led by Colonel John Blashford-Snell CBE in 1992 when they found an enormous elephant, 11 feet 3 inches at the shoulder and believed to be the largest in Asia.

Local people thought he was a mammoth, but he was in fact an Asian elephant. The Nepalese put him on a postage stamp and sent soldiers to guard the area. They are still there and this is one of the reasons that the tiger population has increased. The book “Mammoth Hunt” that he wrote with Rula Lenska tells the story.  TV films were made  ‘The Beast of Bardia’and ‘Op Raleigh Return to Nepal 1992’ and both are in the collection of our SES videos.

Sadly, Raja Gaj disappeared in 2010 at the age of about 70. We believe he died and was swept away in the flooded Karnali river. However, his offspring are thriving and look like him.

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© Colonel John Blashford-Snell CBE DSc(Hon) DEng(hc) FRSGS