Lawrence Chicoine of Livermore and his grandson, Caleb Boudreau, study “Doc,” a mounted elephant parked on a trailer July 20 next to Countryside Cannabis in Livermore. The African elephant was legally hunted by a Turner attorney in 1991, mounted and brought to Maine two years later. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

LIVERMORE — No, you’re not seeing things — there really is a life-size elephant in town.

Livermore resident Cea Jay Pitcher, who buys and sells antiques, last week acquired “Doc,” a stuffed and mounted African elephant who was legally hunted in 1991.

“When an oddity shows up I will consider it,” said Pitcher, who typically specializes in old signs and gas pumps.

It was through his business contacts that he took ownership of the elephant, he said.

The previous owners “didn’t want ‘Doc’ anymore so I had to go in and rescue him,” Pitcher said July 21.

The day before, the elephant was on display at Countryside Cannabis, whose owner is a friend of Pitcher’s.


“You don’t see this every day,” Lawrence Chicoine of Livermore said, while showing his grandson, Caleb Boudreau, the mounted pachyderm. “I live right down the road from the person who owns it.”

Chicoine pointed out a sign at the front of the trailer providing some background on the elephant. “Doc” weighed 7,700 pounds, was legally hunted in Zimbabwe by Dort Bigg of Turner in 1991, shipped to South Africa in 1992, completely mounted in 1993, made its way by ocean liner to New York and from there trucked to Bigg’s estate in Turner, the sign indicates.

“Please feel free to get up close and take pictures, touch it, feel the hair and skin. Just no climbing or leaning,” the sign posted by the Pitcher family reads. “Please enjoy looking and gently touching. He is a gentle giant so please no climbing.”

Caleb Boudreau touches “Doc” with his grandfather, Lawrence Chicoine of Livermore, stands behind him. At right, Corena Douin of New Sharon reads a sign posted near the mounted elephant near Countryside Cannabis on July 20. “Doc” was legally hunted by Dort Bigg of Turner in 1991, mounted and brought to Maine two years later. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

“I thought it was a clay thing,” Corena Douin of New Sharon said. She had heard about the elephant and drove over to see it. “I am flabbergasted now.

“People are driving from two to three hours away to see it,” Chicoine said.

Chicoine had seen it being hauled down state Route 4 and posted a video to Facebook. He also took photos while “Doc” was at Frosty Delite in Livermore Falls on July 16.


He noted not everyone is in favor of “Doc.”

Sandra Grondin, Franklin Group office manager, said Bigg was an attorney and went through the legal process to obtain a permit to shoot an elephant.

“It cost him about $250,000 in all; they were thinning the herd and he gave all the meat to the villagers,” she said.

Grondin said she once had a photography business and recalled one photo using “Doc” as a backdrop. “It made a hell of a prop for a wedding photo,” she added.

“Doc,” a legally hunted African elephant that was mounted and brought to Maine in 1993, is seen July 20 near Countryside Cannabis in Livermore. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

“Doc” is ten feet, one inch tall, 18 feet from the tip of his tusks to his tail and about eight feet wide between his ears, Pitcher said.

“At only 7,700 pounds he is actually a smaller African elephant,” he said. “I was kind of surprised. The average weight is 10,000 to 12,000 pounds.


“He is quite large when you are next to him,” Pitcher said. “I have learned a lot of history about him. One unusual thing I learned is the fact he doesn’t come apart like a lot of larger mounts do. The only thing that comes off is his ears.”

Pitcher said the legs are usually removable to make transporting easier. “Doc’s” ears are removed to cover and transport him. Pitcher said he is building a platform in his barn until the elephant’s forever home can be found. Some museums have been contacted, he added.

Thursday morning, three students from a local summer school program stopped to see “Doc,” Pitcher said. Pitcher’s home is across from Spruce Mountain Primary School on Gibbs Mill Road.

“I want people to enjoy (‘Doc’),” he said. A few home school groups have contacted Pitcher about visits.

Until a forever home is found, Pitcher welcomes visitors.

To arrange a time to visit or for additional information call Pitcher at 491-3658.

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