Thursday, November 20, 2008

From Chris Berry #2

Ringling Barnum PIGMY ELEPHANTS (one-sheet flat 1937)

2 comments:

Richard Reynolds said...

These so-called pygmy elephants were obtained by Howard Bary around the end of 1935 or early in 1936.

He got them for RBBB from the elephant training station at Gangala na bodio in the eastern Belgian Congo (now Dem. Republic of Congo). This litho shows the number of elephants (5) that he took out of the Congo. It was an arduous journey involving an overland trek from Gangala to Juba, Sudan on the Nile, then down the Nile to Alexandria and thence by ocean vessel from there. Two of the elephants died en route.

Three arrived in New York for the opening in the Garden in 1936. They were a male “Congo”, female “Pouquois (Puqua)” and another female “Sudan.” The first two were genuine forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) with the straight down tusks, typical of that species (It is now classified as a separate species instead of a jungle version of the big bush elephants).

The third one, Sudan, was a bush elephant and later photos of her show the physical features of that species as contrasted to the forest elephants. She lived the longest dying in Sarasota at the end of 1947 (There are some rumors that she was killed). Congo had died in Sarasota in early 1937 and Puqua died in Atlanta in November 1941 in the infamous elephant poisoning incident.

Puqua is the first African elephant I can recall seeing - -that on RBBB in 1940 in Atlanta. Her long thin tusks made a deep impression.

Ole Whitey said...

Sudan was the first African I ever saw (in 1943) and I didn't see another until 1957 when Kelly-Miller had that little Colonel.

My third to see was Diamond on RBBB.

Folks today are used to seeing them but they were a rarity in our youth.