Thursday, March 3, 2016

Theodore Schroeder Revisted

"Business Card" back in the day when it was a respected profession........

The Circus "NO SPIN ZONE": Theodore Schroder--Animal Trainer and Zoo Curator

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Panda trivia

What panda's does China not "own" and what offspring will they never, ever be able to re-call, take back, renig, fingers crossed, indian giver, etc. etc.  no matter how angry or pissed of they may become at some supposed political slight?  Click photo to enlarge.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Chi Chi's Journey To Find A Home

London's Natural History Museum

Read a 1958 story about Chi-Chi-s plight here

There doesn't seem to be any photo or movie documentation of the first leg of Chi Chi's journey to the Moscow Zoo.  If anyone know's of anything let me know.

Second leg of Chi Chi's journey Tierpark East Germany

Third leg of Chi Chi's journey Frankfort Zoo

There doesn't seem to be any photo or movie documentation of the fourth leg of Chi Chi's journey to the Copenhagen Zoo.  Given Copenhagen Zoo's current "problem's" with trying to rent a panda from China they probably wish they had kept Chi Chi in 1958.  If anyone know's of anything, again please let me know.

BBC Radio 4 - Chi-Chi: Panda Ambassador

Fifth and final leg of Chi Chi's journey.  London Zoo.  Home Sweet Home!    Spending time with royalty explaining never to get deposed because seeking political asylum is indeed a suck existence........

Chi Chi never left London Zoo again, with the exception of a return trip to Russia for a dirty weekend(unproductive) with An An in 1966

An An agreed to have another go(again, unproductive) at Chi Chi in 1968 and flew to London to reciprocate her visit two year's earlier.

The cruel truth of China's panda factories | Daily Mail Online

Best quote I have heard in many years,  Lu Zhi, a panda expert from Beijing University, last yearcalled the reintroduction efforts as “pointless as taking off the pants in order to fart.”

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Greetings Paul, yes I was aware of the recent discovery of a male Guadalcanal Mountain Kingfisher.  Sadly, before we could revel in that amazing event, the bird was killed to be used as a museum specimen.  I am still trying to wrap my brain around that decision.  I am still searching for something that will give me a "reason" why that decision was made or who made it, instead of setting up a captive breeding situation in the forest(apparently females have been sighted more often over the years.)  I have often pondered how a person would have felt years ago, ordering a buffalo burger  in a restaurant, and upon receiving their burger being told, "enjoy it, that's the last of the buffalo."  Thank God for controlled, licensed hunting, but how do you justify a museum specimen with possibly the last remaining individual??  At the moment the best we have are photo's and a sound recording.


First photographs and sound recordings of Guadalcanal Moustached Kingfisher

5 Oct 2015 - 22:01 -- Chris Sharpe

In Sep 2015, the first sound recordings of Guadalcanal Moustached Kingfisher (Actenoides excelsus) were made by a team from the American Museum of Natural History, and a male was subsequently captured and photographed. The taxon is found only in remote, almost inaccessible forests on the island of Guadalcanal and was previously documented from three specimens (two females and a probable immature male), a female observed in 1994 and several birds heard in 1997. The adult male was unknown to science and remains undescribed.A. excelsus has been considered conspecific with Bougainville Moustached Kingfisher A. bougainvillei, the two being split in the HBW & BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Preliminary evidence appears to support this decision, and expedition findings should lead to better protection for this Endangered species.

Thursday, July 9, 2015


Translated:   This skeleton is Betsy. Not even Jack.   It is Chamba Circus Harry Malter (Heusden)

Audience favorite Betsy, who arrived at the zoo in 1855, died in the winter of 1887-88, after which she was offered at the Universities of Brussels and Ghent. Brussels was not interested because they had too many elephants and Ghent found it too expensive. The Company then decided to just keep the skull. It was later claimed that the university would have the skull Betsy: according to tradition, Betsy had a deformed jaw by eating too many cookies and univ indeed possesses a deformed elephant skull. Small detail: the skull of an African elephant and Betsy was an Indian elephant.

Why then this story? Archival research has shown that with the closure of the zoo, the university ca 1904 skull Betsy has acquired effective. That was decades in the Museum of Zoology preserved but was traded in 1985 for five other elephant skulls. Subsequent attempts to find Betsy's skull back wereunfortunately a dead end off. But! From the same archival research it has been found that along with the skull five cervical vertebrae were purchased. The only surviving material trace of Betsy is thus exhibited in the form of five cervical vertebrae in a metal cabinet in the Zoology Museum.

Translated:  Cerf, Leeuwstraat, Buffalo Street, Alpaca Street: just remember the streets around the Muinkpark there that there ever was a zoo at the South Station.

The zoo closed its doors for lack of audience in 1904, and the animals were sold at public auction. It looked as if the elephant was given refuge in the circus, but to everyone's surprise, and perhaps not least that of the man himself, it was not the impresario but one Sieske Yeast Marchand made the highest bid.

Sies tried the elephant still to resell at a profit, but he was no longer off-wanted man in the circus do not pay enough? Whether he was scuffed just disgusted?

In any case: an elephant of course costs a lot in maintenance (! Food that does), and Sieske found nothing better than the beast to slaughter. Gaia would not like to have been: the Duts was strangled with a noose of steel cables!

Of the nearly two tons of dead elephant "fillets" were served at the Hotel Gambrinus in the Flanders Street, and the rest was ... turned into sossiesen. Tasty.

The above photo was sent to us by Arthur De Decker, who wonders:

This elephant was named as one source Betsie, and was therefore of the female sex, but according to another source he was Jack, which seems rather masculine.

My question: it was now or Betsy Jack was ceremonially consumed in 1904?

Betsie? Betsy? Jack? Jacob? Someone?


Dieren in de stad

Friday, May 29, 2015


PICTURE AND TEXT from page 337 of "Animal Life and the World of Nature; A magazine of Natural History" (1902)

The little animal shown in the photo- graph on this page belongs to Young Serow. a species very rare in cap- tivity, the Serow (Nemorhtvdxs sumatrcnsis). No specimen of this animal appears to have reached Europe alive, and the present one was thought a great rarity in India, where the photograph was taken. The serow is a member of the curious group of animals known as goat-antelopes, which are all mountaineers, familiar in the person of the European chamois. The present species has a wide range in South-East Asia, extending from Kashmir to the island of Sumatra. There is a certain amount of difference between examples from different parts of this large area, which gives reason for the establish- ment of several sub-species, the Himalayan serow being thus styled Nemorhceclus suma- trensis bubalinus. In colour this form is black-and-tan, with white belly and stockings; a specimen from Arakan in the Indian Museum, the Gapricomis rubida of that eminent naturalist the late Edward Blyth, was tan throughout. The serow is about the size of a donkey when adult, and both sexes have short but sharp horns, ringed at the base and gently curved backwards. The longest pair recorded barely exceed a foot in length. Nevertheless, in spite of his awkward appearance and in- significant-looking weapons, the serow is an animal of much character. Extremely active, he frequents the most difficult and steep ground, though he does not range to a very high elevation; and he is not only dangerous to man when brought to bay, but is said to be a match even for the terrible dholes or wild dogs (Cyon dukhuii- cnsis), the worst foes of Indian big game.. 


The serows (/səˈr/ or /ˈsɛr/) are six species of medium-sized goat-like orantelope-like mammals of the genus Capricornis.
All six species of serow were until recently also classified under Naemorhedus, which now only contains the gorals. They live in central or eastern Asia.


PICTURE AND TEXT from page 340 of "Animal Life and the World of Nature; A magazine of Natural History" (1902)

The young Beisa Oryx was caught by a British officer a few months ago. At first it was very wild and nervous, but the kindly cow in the photograph (a loan to the same officer by a friendly Somali sheikh) took pity on it and brought it up with her own calf, which may also be seen in the photograph looking out under its mother's nose. The little oryx has gone many marches, packed comfortably on a camel's back, and it originally had as a companion another baby antelope, a Soemmerring's gazelle below packed on a camel's back but it has since died.


PICTURE AND TEXT from page 339 of "Animal Life and the World of Nature; A magazine of Natural History" (1902)

The Wallachian Sheep. Several of the con- tinental countries of South- East- ern Europe and South- Wester n Asia are the home of a very remark- able breed, or rather of several closely-allied breeds, of sheep characterised by the corkscrew-like form of the long and slender horns of the rams. As shown in our illustration, which is taken from a ram of the Wallachian breed, these sheep have black faces, ears, and legs, and long bushy tails. The fleece is also rather dark-coloured, and consists of long, shaggy wool mingled with hair. The most striking feature is, however, undoubtedly formed by the horns, which are present in both. sexes, although very much smaller in the ewes than in the rams. It is said these horns attain their finest development WALLACHIAN SHEEP in the Cretan breed. In the Wallachian breed, however, they are also of great length, and diverge at about an angle of 45 degrees from the middle line of the head. In the Hungarian breed the divergence is very much less, the two horns forming a narrow V- It will be seen that the horns form a regular closely-twisted corkscrew-like spiral, recalling that of the lesser kudu among the antelopes, and the markhor among the wild goats. By Linnaeus the spike-horned sheep was regarded as a species distinct from the one represented by the ordinary domesti- cated breeds; and there is much to be said in favour of this view. In Wood's " Natural History " there is, how- ever, a figure of a Walla- chian, or Cre- tan, sheep, in which the horns at first take a down- ward and in- ward curve like those of an ordinary rain, and then shoot up- wards in the straight corkscrew-like spiral, of which, by the way, the twists are much more open than in the specimen here figured. Whether this is true to nature or a fancy of the artist is not easy to determine ; if the former, it suggests that these sheep are nearer to the ordinary breeds than is commonly supposed. Apparently these sheep are by no means uncommon'in their native countries, although it is difficult to ascertain whether the}' take the place of the ordinary breeds, or whether they are a special half-wild breed. Authentic information on this point would be of interest.


PICTURE AND TEXT from page 397 of "Animal Life and the World of Nature; A magazine of Natural History" (1902)

ANIMALS AT KHARTOUM. By Captain S. S. Floweb. Illustrated with Photographs by the Author. THE Zoological Gardens at Khartoum, though one of the youngest and smallest of these institutions in the world, is well worth a visit. The collection of animals, though necessarily limited from reasons of finance, is very interesting, the specimens being all from the Sudan, and the locality where each was caught being known in nearly every case. The collection is the property of the Anglo-Sudanese Government, and is looked after by Mr. A. L. Butler, the Director of the Sudan Game Preservation Depart- ment. On the 1st Feb- ruary, 1904, there were living in the Khartoum collection two lions, two leopards, one serval, one caracal, one chita, five ril, one Dorcas and one Korin gazelle, one white oryx, one Wau ram, several giraffes, two ostriches, one secretary bird, one spur-winged goose and several crowned cranes, ultramarine- and fire- finches, weaver-birds, etc., also some animals on deposit belonging to the Egyptian Zoological Gar- dens, which have since been moved to Giza. There is also at Khartoum a Shoebill (Balaniceps rex), but it is kept at the Governor- General's palace, and not in the public gardens, being rightly much valued by its fortunate possessors. The Eil or Addra Gazelle (Gazella ruficollis) is a species veiy seldom seen alive in menageries.


PICTURE AND TEXT from page 399 of "Animal Life and the World of Nature; A magazine of Natural History" (1902)

There are several giraffes in the Khar- toum Gardens. The photograph depicts two of them. The variation of their spots is at once apparent. Sudan very rarely represented even in museums. 


PICTURE AND TEXT from page 31 of "Animal Life and the World of Nature; A magazine of Natural History" (1902)

If it is required to train a wolf up to be a household pet, a bitch cub should be selected, preferably one just weaned, as being quieter and practically free from all smell. Teasing should be rigorously avoided and a sharp look-out kept on the animal's behavior with children, as many otherwise docile wolves have an antipathy to children and are untrustworthy when in their company. Some years ago a very fine European wolf was presented to the Zoological Gardens; it was reared by hand, and was most tame and confiding. It lived in the house and followed its master just like a dog all about the country roads. But on one occasion it caught sight of a child running in the distance, and at once made after it in that loping, tireless gallop which is a characteristic of the wolf; fortunately it was overtaken before it came up with the child, otherwise there is little doubt it would have seriously injured the youngster. A young wolf cub can be bought for three or four pounds in May or June from almost any of the animal dealers and from some of the Zoos, such as the London or Rotterdam Gardens. Smaller than the common wolf, and equally, if not more, suitable for a pet, particularly for ladies, is tire coyote. Owing to its thicker and longer fur and more bushy tail, the coyote appears to be a much larger animal than it really is. The howl of this animal is different from that of the grey wolf. It is a matter of doubt among many scientists as to whether the common or grey wolf (Ganis lupus) and the North American timber wolf (Ganis occidental is) are specifically distinct. Personally, as a pet I prefer the look of the North American animal. It is now generally accepted that the Esquimaux dog is but a reclaimed or domesticated wolf, in just the same way as the Hare Indian dog is presumed to be a domesticated descendant—through association with human beings—of the coyote (Ganis la trans). The white variety of wolf, as may be seen, is a very beautiful-looking creature, but unfortunately anything but common, and a good price would have to be paid by a would-be possessor for an example—say fifteen or twenty pounds, just about double the cost of an ordinary grey wolf when- adult.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Remarkable Dineshan

THE HINDU December 21, 2011

Even at this age of 61, leading a retired life, Dineshan receives jumbo-sized accolades every day. It is his tusks that have the most admirers.
At 1.44 metres long and 40 centimetres in diameter, each tusk stands out. Ivory of this proportion remains a dream for other captive elephants in the State.
To know why he is such a big hit with people, add Dineshan's gentle behaviour to the equation. In a corner of the elephant camp at Muthanga in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, he spends his days saluting visitors, never giving up his gentle nature.
It was not such restful days in his youth. Dineshan, standing over 2.5 metres tall, had been in forest service for 40 years as a Kumki elephant, rescuing trapped wild elephants inside the forests and assisting mahouts to train captive elephants in the kraal.
He had never attacked anyone or disobeyed the commands of his mahouts, M. Gopalan, a mahout at the camp, said.
The tusker was brought from the Nedumkayam elephant camp of the Nilambur forest division several decades ago, when capturing wild elephants was common in the State. In those days, Dineshan was in the forefront of rescue and training, T.M. Suresh, a former Wildlife Warden, recalled.
During the 1960s, nearly 30 trained elephants in the camp had been engaged in various works, including pulling timber and capturing wild elephants, he said. When the government banned capture of wild elephants in 1977 and felling trees in sanctuaries in the following years, the number of elephants in the camp was reduced to four.
At present, the department has just two Kumki elephants, Surya and Kunju, used mainly for scaring away herds of wild elephants entering human habitats and applying tranquilliser shots to pachyderms in critical situations, Pradeep, Assistant Wildlife Warden of the sanctuary, told The Hindu .
Sundary, a one-year-old female calf, became a new member of the elephant camp after it was rescued by forest personnel from the sanctuary in May 2010.

Amazing there is no PTS(post traumatic stress) in sight.  Fluke, or overlooked fact in the animal right movement's ability to interpret anything, anyway, anyhow to fit their agenda?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Melaninistic Zebra Revisited

Newborn zebra in the north-western area of the Okavango Delta. The zebra has a  dark color due to a small genetic abnormality linked to the amount of melanin affecting the pigmentation of the fur. -Africageographic

Courtesy of Toby Styles

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Indian Government's Elephant Service--1907

For many years I have suggested that possibly inferior elephants with physical problems and poor genetics with allowed for the passing on of inferior genetics, were the elephants sold to circus and zoo's.  The physical/mental problems were then often blamed on the captive environment of the animals, instead of the acceptance that the animals were inferior before they ever arrived at the circus or the zoo.

Note this quote from the article above: 'in such a way that the least valuable are put up to public auction, when they fall to the lot of private merchants and companies.'  Further on in the article it states that sometimes an order for sixty tuskers, selected by experts for their intelligence and work ability are selected and sent to a military installation.  The "Frank Bucks" and other animal dealers get the left overs/culls to import to circus/zoological institutions. 

A similar situation occurred in the early 1980's with the large importation of Arabian horses from government studs in Poland and Russia.   It is a rare, rare exception when a breeding facility, stud, or capture site will offer there good stock for sale.  The superior animals are offered as an example of what is produced or what is on hand, but is not for sale.  What is for sale is what has been deemed not necessary(read inferior) to the breeding program, or for use for other purpose's requiring superior individuals.   Those inferior horses, with exceptions, such as Bask never realized their expected potential as breeding stock as was seen in Poland and Russia, and caused the closure of many horse farms and the leaving of "Arabian horse breeders" who had been schmoosed into the industry with dreams of million dollar imported horses. 

The elephant capture centers carry on the same practices as the state stud farms.  Nothing wrong with it, and it is normal practice.  Buyer beware.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Dalia--Buenos Aires Zoo


The commanding officer ordered "Fire " and a platoon of Guards Security Police Capital, executed the order without blinking. For sixty minutes the Mauser rifles were primed on the body of the defendant : the Dalia elephant, sentenced to death by the Zoo Director , Adolfo Maria " Dago " Holmberg, in punishment for his desperate attempt to escape to freedom.
This incredible story "of love, madness and death," which seems taken from a story by Horacio Quiroga or a novel by Rudyard Kipling, began in the lush jungle of South India around 1883 , when the small Dalia was born .Male elephant - in spite of his name , Dalia was educated by his mother until age 18 , when he had shed his tutelage to follow the herd . Due to their remarkable intelligence learned there the basics of subsistence, such as the precaution of testing indigestible fruit or how to get a night shelter .He spent 20 hours a day to provide their food , consisting of 50 kilograms per day of herbs, twigs , shrubs , buds , leaves and fruit , and when I felt like running , the inhabitants of the jungle stood aside to see happen to the gigantic mass five tons and three meters high , making the earth tremble under their feet to the fantastic speed of 40 kilometers per hour.

But that free and natural life was cut short in 1922 when he was captured and sent with a female companion to be incarcerated in the Zoological Garden of Buenos Aires. This abrupt habitat alteration meant changing the jungle of his early years by the Hindu Temple ( Elephant House )
" ... Large round building with pure Indian style , copy Nimaschi temple of the goddess , from the time of Rajah Tirumal , in this building , statues, bas-reliefs and inscriptions that decorate it are taken from the most famous religious monuments India . The column statues represent a main front Kartikeya , fac - simile of which exists in the temple and the other Raghanati Bhuwaneswor , fac - simile of the statue of the temple dedicated to the same god . "The idols of niches located above the doors are fac - similes Pagoda Modura , the bas-reliefs on the sides represent a stage hand drawn from the Veda and Rig- Veda , the other side are religious issues related to Siva and Vishnu , the inscriptions are copied from authentic documents ( edicts of Asoka ) , low relief Bharhut . It was designed by architect Cestari . The inner part is 700 square meters and 1200 meters the corral . "

But grossly inadequate to accommodate living, a very beautiful and of unquestionable artistic value building. In 1936, Dalia was there "victim of the air currents so abundant in the pavilion that housed, suffering two rheumatic attacks improved with increasing temperature."
The corral was completed with a fence armed with strong bars, although low-rise, at that time, there was no actual perimeter moat.
Dalia's ear was so sensitive I could hear sounds generated within 50 square kilometers, capacity in the city of Buenos Aires meant no little torment. He learned to use his trunk-body-in muscle multipurpose childhood, when his mother caressed her, or when I was young of whack if he misbehaved. In love, she linked up with her ​​partner, and the danger, shaking horizontally, indicating threat, but when he stood at the sky, it was a sign of attack.

With that same soil collected horn to his mouth and cookies and candies that they threw their friends, the kids , who enjoyed taking a ride on his big back, as can be seen in photographs of magazines of the time . The newspaper La Nacion , in its issue of 20/5/43 , acknowledged that Dalia " was one of the best attractions of the zoo ."After the death of his partner in 1938 brought the zoo to Cango , a young female of five, who soon became the elephant couple of the widower , 55 years old.Dalia belonged to the family of the world 's largest land mammals . Despite its size was peaceful and docile nature . His species can be tamed into an apprenticeship of three years in which to learn to obey 24 different orders , thanks to his outstanding intelligence and memory .His new life for 21 years then passed without leaving the small space provided, unable to cool off in a river, without traversing the jungles of southern India with his herd. And you can not  conceive the prodigious memory has forgotten. Yet despite this, his character had not soured.
At least not until the morning of May 18, 1943.

"This is a very strange account I stumbled upon.  It seems to be describing an Asian elephant, yet this sure looks like a African Bush elephant to me, and a male at that apparently, if I am to trust the translation.  Stranger still a male elephant with the female name of Dalia.  Is this a Bush elephant, and does anyone have anymore information on him?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Vintage Elephant Rides--London Zoo 1872

A black and white wood engraving.  Note the posting on the wall on the right advising folks to be on the look out for pick pockets.  I am assuming this is Jumbo and Jumbo Jr.

"From my private collection of zoo engravings."

Begum--London Zoo 1872

An original black and white in-text wood engraving by Ernest Griset portraying the female Sumatran rhinoceros named Begum being transferred from her "travelling den" to her cage at the London Zoo Begum has the distinction of holding the record for the longevity in captivity for a Sumatran rhino. She died in 1900.

"From my private collection of zoo engravings and woodcuts"

Miss Bet--London Zoo 1870

Watercolour, pen and ink and pencil on paper.

The incident happened on a bitterly cold day in December 1870 when the Indian rhinoceros fell through the ice into a deep pond. All the available keepers were summoned to pull her out. The Zoo’s Superintendent, A.D. Bartlett (wearing a top hat) is seen directing the dangerous operation. Miss Bet survived the ordeal unharmed and died in 1873.   She had lived in the Zoo since 1850.  The Bartlett Society

Ernest Griset (1843-1907), who died 100 years ago, was a well-known caricaturist of the nineteenth century. His illustrations in books and satirical magazines including Punch contributed to their popularity and success.
The hallmark of Griset’s work was to base his caricatures on animals either in human guise or behaving in a human-like manner. The inspiration for these amusing figures came from Griset’s regular visits to ZSL London Zoo.

The painting of Miss Bet is one of four of Griset’s paintings held in the ZSL Library.

Ghost Zoo--Maidstone Zoo

Cobtree Manor Park is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.  This delightful country park is a haven for wildlife and nature lovers as well as being a great place for family days out.  It also encompasses the popular Kent Life attraction and a golf course and was formerly the site of Maidstone Zoo.
In the mid-16th Century the area in which the park is situated was known as the Allington Castle Estate and included the historic Sandling Farm which is now the site of Kent Life.  Originally extending to 461 acres the Allington Castle Estate was owned by Thomas Wyatt.  In later years the property’s name was changed to the Cobtree Estate when the Tyrwhitt-Drake family took over its ownership.
In the early years of the 20th Century Sir Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake inherited Cobtree from his father.  An eccentric character Sir Garrard travelled extensively and on returning from his travels set up a small zoo in the grounds of his estate.  It would appear that his fascination with exotic animals began with the zebra as he is alleged to have painted a donkey with black and white stripes to remind him of his adventures overseas!  The zoo flourished – presumably with real zebras in residence – and Sir Garrard became a respected zoo and circus owner.
A hugely energetic man, Sir Garrard’s interests did not stop at zoo animals; he also had extensive business concerns in Maidstone and played an active role in public life being Mayor of Maidstone on no less than 12 occasions.  Sir Garrard also collected carriages which he realised would become obsolete as the motor car began to take over from the horse-drawn vehicles he had been used to as a child.
Maidstone Zoo closed in 1959.  However, the animals were able to stay at Cobtree until suitable homes were found for them with the last leaving in about 1963 shortly before Sir Garrard’s death the following year.  A public spirited and generous man Sir Garrard died childless.  Bequeathing his estate to the people of Maidstone he had already gifted his unique collection of carriages to the town when, in 1946, the Tyrwhitt-Drake Museum of Carriages opened.  These remarkable carriages can still be seen today at the museum where, in the true spirit of Sir Garrard, entry is free.

"In researching the history of the Queen's Royal Creme Ponies I stumbled upon this snippit:
The Royal Cream Ponies were bred from a stallion named Prince, which Sir Garrard bought in 1913. Unable to find a cream mare, he experimented and the eventual result was cream foals. Prince`s ancestors pulled Queen Victoria`s coach, hence "Royal". A rather sad story is that due to the lack of horsemeat, etc., during WWII,  Sir Garrard was forced to `sacrifice` two of the ponies in order satisfied the needs of the large carnivores. The only time that he slaughtered a well animal.  
I googled Sir Garrard for insight into his breeding program and was surprised to learn he had a zoo someplace in England, but not much else.  Does anyone have any more information about 'Maidstone Zoo?  I had never heard of it."

Mademoiselle Paula

This is the front page of a letter written in 1899 to the Hon. Lionel Walter Rothschild (later Lord Rothschild) by Charles Harte, Impressario to Mademoiselle Paula: 
Charles Harte, 'Impresario acting for Mdlle Paula, the famous reptile conqueror’ offers a living fifteen foot rare snake. He wishes to dispose of this ‘serpent’ in order to make more room for his Indian pythons, ‘more suitable for handling in Mdlle Paula’s performance’ and wonders whether Rothschild would like to add it to his collection.,_2nd_Baron_Rothschild 

The letter is addressed from the Royal Aquarium, Westminster. This was built in 1876, located opposite Westminster Abbey, but demolished in the early 1900s to make way for the Methodist's Central Hall. As well as a theater, art gallery, reading and smoking rooms, the building included a main hall featuring; palm trees, sculptures, tanks of curious sea creatures and an orchestra.

Paula performed at a number of locations around the British Isles 1890-1899, but the longer stints were spent on the bill at the Royal Aquarium.

Her performance is put in context when you look at the other acts listed on the bill alongside her during October 1890: Roches pack of fourteen wolves, the smallest monkey parachutist in the world, Professor Maxey the needle eater, Sol Stone the Great American calculator, and the Brothers Dunbar and their astonishing aerial act.

In the Pall Mall Gazette, on 29th January 1891, the following appeared advertising Paula's next show: '....with her fierce alligators, who was bitten last Saturday, hopes to reappear to-morrow [sic]'. Clearly a shrewd marketing ploy by her manager!

Later in January 1899, in 'The Standard' she is promoted as 'Paula Queen reptile conqueror of the world, subduing snakes, crocodiles and alligators'.