Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Cole Bros. Circus cages 1935-36 #11

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Anonymous said...

This cage was constructed by enlarging a former Robbins Bros cage the winter of 1935-36. Prior to that the seals were carried in the Robbins Hippo den, but a hippo was to be added to the 1936 show and that wagon would no longer be available.

Richard Reynolds: Did this planned hippo come on the show and if so please identify the animal.

Anonymous said...

Richard: Would it have been Pinky, whose sister Chester had such great exposure in GSOE- the movie?

Anonymous said...

Richard Reynolds responds to Ole Whitey or should it be "Forepaugh Whitey" whose name I have seen as an authority on that show- -

There was no hippo on Cole in 1935. For 1936 they bought the common or Nile hippo "Pinky" from RBBB. Pinky was in Peru doing nothing in 1936 since no show went out of there that year. Peru had a surplus of hippos - -male Victor and females Alice and Pinky.

Pinky had been born to Alice on July 18,1928 while en route on Hagenbeck Wallace from Racine WI to Marinette, WI across the river from Menominee, MI. Sire was Sells Floto's Tambon. [I had wrongly thought that Victor was the sire but he was with John Robinson down at West Baden qtrs. when the calf was conceived whereas Tambon was right there in Peru, Johnny on the spot as it were.]

Pinky arrived on Cole at its South Bend stand in 1936. Gordon Potter was there when the truck with the hip rolled onto the lot. The Cole circus guys told Gordon that she had come from the Brookfield zoo. A squib to that effect was also in Billboard.

That was pure bunk and caused me no end of useless inquiry with the zoo. No - - they said Brookfield zoo had never had any hippo named Pinky. I knew the animal had to be the one from H-W because the late Dr. Bill Mann at National zoo told me his Pinky had been born on H-W.

Then I found the answer. The Tom Parkinson files in Boo City has the list of RBBB property disposals for 1936. There big as life was this entry. "May 9, 1936: Hippo Cole Bros, $2,000 ($1,000 due June 1)."

All I can say is that Adkins and Terrell did not want to let on that they had gotten Pinky from the dreaded Ringling show.

Pinky last toured with Cole in 1938. Part of that season on the Cole show and the last part with Robbins Bros where I saw her in the parade here in Atlanta.

The next year Pinky was traded to the Nat'l zoo (Washington) for a pygmy hip. The pygmy went with Cole in 1939 and then burned up in the Rochester fire in early 1940. Cole then turned ot RBBB gaain and North loaned them his Chester, a female who had also been born to Alice on HW-FS in Chestser, PA in 1935. Victor was the sire of Chester.

Chester was returned to Sarasota in early 1944 because by then Cole had bought its own hip, a young female from Cincinnati zoo. She would go on to gain fame with the Beatty show as "Big Otto" though not a male at all. She died from injures sustained when her trailer turned over with Beatty-Cole around 1975. She would have been about 32 or 33 at the time, young for a hippo.

Back to Pinky. She had a long life at National Zoo.until retired to Zoorama in New Market, VA. She was sent there on loan on 7 July 1959 and died there on 31 Dec 1960.

You mentioned Chester as the hip star of the GSOE movie. No, that was old Lotus from the Barnes show. Her cinema walk by was sort of her last hurrah. She had not toured with RBBB since 1944. She lived out her days in comfort under the Florida sunshine and died at Sarasota quarters in late October 1954 as best I can determnine.

Now you know all that I know about these hippos.

Anonymous said...

No one will ever know as much as you, Friend Richard.