In 1819, sundry exotic animals were brought to Venice for the Carnival season; these included an Indian elephant, which was exhibited in an enclosure on the Riva degli Schiavoni. With the festivities concluded, the animal was to be put on a boat and returned to the mainland, but when the time came it panicked and bolted, trampling and killing the custodian and setting off on a dramatic flight along the lanes of Venice, pursued by Austrian soldiers with rifles, who “fired several shots at the great beast”. On reaching the church of Saint Antoninus, the elephant burst through the door and took refuge inside. At this point, with the permission of the Patriarch, the soldiers opened up a hole in the side wall of the church and shot the creature dead with a small cannon. The corpse, acquired by the University of Padua, was transported to the Giudecca island and dissected to obtain the skeleton and the hide, which were then taken to Padua to complete the preparation. The hide unfortunately was discarded in the 1920s, being too far deteriorated, whilst the skeleton was restored and remounted on its original support of the early 19th century.