Thursday, December 15, 2011

Elephant Rides--London Zoo

1883



1903

Magic lantern slide

1960

This is odd? On the right we see people sitting astride with no howdah, and on the left we see people sitting sideways on one of the most unusual howdah's I have ever seen. Can any of you 'London Zoo buffs' enlighten us about the howdah on the left?

2 comments:

Jamie Clubb said...

I cannot really comment on the howdah other than I rode it myself. This was the last year that London Zoo gave elephant rides. For those of you who are not familiar with the zoo, it is divided into three segments. The main zoo is connected to the middle part by two tunnels that go under the road. The elephants were housed originally in the middle segment and were taken through the tunnel to the lion house to be harnessed for the afternoon rides. One of the elephants took fright and ran back the elephant enclosure completely laden with children and howdah, consequently knocking the load off and that was the end of the elephant rides at London Zoo. Whipsnade continued for I think another two years. Whipsnade had the last of the Bostock and Wombwelle's elephants, Dixie, and I rode on her as well. She died prematurely from a nail in her foot that went septic and I presume she was destroyed. How little they knew in those days.

By the way I am in Florida from 6th to 12th January and will be at Show Folks on the 7th. I would love to meet up with anyone who is around at that time.

Jim Clubb

Wade G. Burck said...

Jim,
Thank you. I never was much of a Florida fan, but this is sure one year that I wish I could be there, instead of further South. Currently have 12 tigers rocking and rolling waiting on the 4 youngsters to mature, so I have been working on taking a few days off after Christmas. If it works out I'll get a hold of John Milton and we can spent an evening sitting around telling lie's. :)

Wade