Scott attached himself to Jumbo and under his devoted care the sickly animal blossomed into a towering, magnificent beast.
In the process the two bonded so powerfully that for the next 20 years neither wanted to leave the other's side. For 16 years at the London Zoo he carried thousands of children on his back (including the children of Queen Victoria and a young Winston Churchill) and delighted crowds.
"It's basically an investment strategy." Caldwell said he believes the behavior is common to many of the nearly 300 species of octopus.
The animals usually mate several times a day once they reach sexual maturity.
Fortunately, the London Zoological Gardens saw untapped potential in the lonely young elephant and in 1865 he was shipped across the Channel to a new home.
There, he found obsessive love –in the care of Matthew Scott, a zoo worker with an incredible feel for animals.
Small males would sneak in to mate by swimming low to the ground in feminine fashion and not displaying their "male" brown stripes. "If you're going to spend time guarding a female, you want to go for the biggest female you can find because she's going to produce more eggs," biology professor Roy Caldwell said.
Males have a specially designed arm they use to deposit a sperm packet into the female, who retires to her den and lays tens of thousands of eggs.
But behind the scenes he frightened zoo officials with displays of temper – and it seemed that only the equally insubordinate Scott could control him. Jumbo was wildly popular in the US, but in 1885, while on tour in Canada, Jumbo was hit by a freight train and killed.
As a result, the London Zoo (over waves of popular protest) shipped Jumbo (and Scott) to P. Scott threw himself on the body and sobbed inconsolably for hours.
Jumbo: The Greatest Elephant in the World April 1, 2008 new book by Paul Chambers tells the story of Jumbo beginning in 1862, when a European adventurer noticed a scrawny baby elephant ripped from his mother for export to Europe.African Paris's Jardin des Plantes where he was badly neglected.