How long did Lin Wang live? Lin Wang was 86 years old when he passed away and lived from 1917 to 2003. He was the oldest Asian elephant ever recorded and made it into the Guinness World Records. [1].

Where was he found? Lin Wang was born wild in Myanmar until he was captured by the Japanese and used to haul heavy equipment for the military [2]. In 1943 he was captured by the Chinese military and continued his life of service until he was retired to the Taipei Zoo in 1954 [3]. Oh to know the interesting and terrifying stories that old elephant lived through.

What did he eat? I could not find the specific diet that Lin Wang was fed, but my guess is that he was fed a traditional Asian elephant diet of roots, fruits, and grass [4].

What did he look like? Asian elephants have smaller ears than African elephants. See figures 1, 2, and 3 for some pictures.

Figure 1. An actual picture of Lin Wang, affectionately called Grandpa Lin by people at the Taipei Zoo.
Figure 2. This is not Lin Wang, but it is a lovely picture of an Asian elephant mom with her child.
Figure 3. I could spend hours looking at these majestic creatures. Here’s another mom and child Asian elephant duo.

How do people know how old she was? I’m assuming if his actual birth date is known, then he must have been removed from the wild with his mother and records were secured. The Guinness book of World Records requires proof to allow animals into their records.

Interesting points about Asian elephants: The average lifespan of Asian elephants is 60 years old [4]. They are endangered because at some point in history a human thought the great ivory tusks of elephants look better on everything except an actual elephant. I’m just going to assume that person also hated kittens and spent their spare time pouring toxic waste into the water for the hell of it. Because humans prove over and over again that we’ll do anything for money, this gentle giant is now facing extinction. Heads up – if you buy something knowing it has ivory in it, you’re not proving your success or power, you’re a pathetic asshole that never learned what actual success is, which is leaving this earth better than it was was when you entered it.


  1. Guinness Book of World Records. Lin Wang. Accessed 3/11/2017.
  2. The Elephant database. Lin Wang. Accessed 3/11/2017.
  3. Time. The 15 Most Influential Animals that Ever Lived. Accessed 3/11/2017.
  4. National Geographic. Asian Elephant. Accessed 3/11/2017.