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JUMBO: THE LARGEST CAPTIVE ELEPHANT IN THE WORLD.

All London is in the “ blues ” because Jumbo, the celebrated elephant at the “ Zoo,” has been sold by the; Society to Mr Barnum of “ walk-up” celebrity. London appears to have taken Jumbo’s sale peculiarly to heart, and the popularity of the huge anima has increased loan altogether unlooked for extent. So anxious indeed have Jumbo’s many friends been to wish him good-bye that the “ Zoo ” has been rushed by crowds of sorrowful and indignant visitors for many weeks past/ The takings at the gates of the Gardens, a private letter received from, London by the last ’Frisco mail informs us, have averaged L3OO on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and L6OO on Mondays, which in London are frequently made holidays of by the working classes. Says the letter we have referred to, “Jumboism is the latest development here (in London), and the name of the pet elephant is on every-* body’s lips—no matter where one turns ‘ Jumbo ’ supplies a never failing topic of conversation. I do verily believe that the people have gone crazy over Jumbo and his approaching departure for the land of the Stars and Stripes.” Some touching stories are told of the elephant. Already several efforts have been made to get him away from the Gardens, but in vain. Early one fine morning not long before the mail feft, J umbo was marched out of his den by his keeper. At the gates of the Gardens a huge wooden packing case, like a second Noah’s Ark, was waiting to receive Mr Jumbo. The great box was mounted on small iron wheels, and about half a mile of horses were in readiness to “ hitch on.” But Jumbo could not be induced to enter the box. He stopped short at the planking leading up to the door, and refused to budge another inch. In vain! his keeper, to whom he is passionately attached, attempted to get him to

‘‘jump in.” He is said to have glanced piteously at the man, and to have caressed him again and again with his trunk, finally falling down on his knees before him in mute entreaty to be taken back to his cage. This was at last done to the intense delight of the poor beast, who gave the most extravagant tokens of his pleasure at not being taken away. The Zoological Society are greatly blamed for selling Jumbo, and the daily papers teem with indignant letters of remonstrance, many writers offering to subscribe to a fund to buy Jumbo back. Of course the children who have so often enjoyed

rides on the great creature’s back are in much distress, and many quaint little letters from them are published. Millicent, aged nine, and her sister Grace, aged seven, “ hope the editor will do his best to save dear Jumbo being sent to America, and that the nasty chains may be taken off him at once. They will send the contents cf their money-box with the greatest pleasure to help to buy him back from Mr Barnum.” Lottie thinks that ‘-' surely ou.r good, humane Queen Victoria

would not allow him to be given away if she knew how fondly we children love Jumbo. And the little princesses will be so sorry, won’t they ?” Alice pleads—“ Please save old Jumbo, if you can. For I know I and my two sisters would give 6d each. Please do, do, do save him. If you don’t lor my sisters won’t go there any more.” Maggie R. is willing to sacrifice a new sixpence to help and retain her big pet, and adds that all her brothers and sisters will subscribe. And this show of sentiment was not confined to the writers of the letters; the Daily Telegraph devoted from one to two columns per diem to matters relating to “Jumbo’s fate,” and the Standard was quite pathetic in its references to “ the expatriation of Jumbo.” Henceforth who will venture to assert that the English are a phlegmatic nation ? All these efforts are, however fruitless; Barnum is inexorable and his heart impenetrable. From New York he telegraphs the following characteristic message :My compliments to editor Daily Telegraph and British nation. Fifty millions of American citizens anziously awaiting Jumbo’s arrival. My forty years’ invariable practice of exhibiting best that money could procure makes Jumbo’s presence here imperative. Hundred thousand pounds would be no inducej ment to cancel purchase. My largest tent seats 30,000 persons, and is filled twice each day. It contains four rings, in three of which three full circus companies give different performances simultaneously. In the large outer ring, or racing track, the Roman hippodrome is exhibited. In two other immense connecting tents my colossal zoological collection and museum are shown. In December next I visit Australia in person, with Jumbo and my entire mammoth combination of seven shows, via California, thence, through Suez Canal. Following summer to London. I shall then exhibit in every prominent city in Great Britain. May afterwards return Jumbo to his old position in Royal Zoological Gardens. Wishing long long life and prosperity to the British nation, the Daily Telegraph, and Jumbo, I am the public’s obedient servant, P. T. Baknum.”

Jumbo has just been in Chancery. The Fellows of the Zoological Society contended that the Council had no right to sell Jumbo without their consent. They therefore applied for an injunction. Mr Barnum’s agent (a Mr Davis) was examined in Court. However dangerous, he said, Jumbo might be in England, he would not prove dangerous in America, because the Transatlantic method of dealing with elephants differs entirely from that observed in England. When asked whether this treatment involved cruelty, he naively confessed that the word was defined in a very different manner in the two countries. The application for the injunction was refused, and Mr Barnum is at liberty to take Jumbo —if he can induce him to quit Regent Park. [Since the above was written we have learned by cable that the subject of this sketch was successfully shipped, after great difficulty, and is now a denizen of the land across the “ silver streak.”

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18820510.2.14

Bibliographic details

JUMBO: THE LARGEST CAPTIVE ELEPHANT IN THE WORLD., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 632, 10 May 1882

Word Count
1,022

JUMBO: THE LARGEST CAPTIVE ELEPHANT IN THE WORLD. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 632, 10 May 1882

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