Friday, January 27, 2012

Franklin Park Zoo Elephants--Molly, Waddy, Tony

The Circus "NO SPIN ZONE": Franklin Park Zoo Elephants--1923

These pictures from 1930 appear to be Waddy and Molly swimming, again no Tony. Elephant keepers were sure dapper dressers back in the day. No ugly khaki shorts and T shirts for these professionals. I am pleased to note the use of a 'Lockhart hook', one of the most useful tools for managing elephants, particularly a large herd.


Jamie Clubb said...

It would appear that we were right, Tony was the new name given to the legendary Boney. Boney was the most talented of the three elephants and the first elephant George Lockhart Snr trained. She is did all the main tricks and a lot of solo work in addition to working with Molly and Waddy.

She is markedly smaller than the other two elephants. We originally thought - as did many others - that she was undernourished. James Pinder (a Lockhart descendent) even implied her name was pronounced the way it was written to indicate her undernourishment. This does not seem to be the case. The Lockharts fed her on a very unusual diet, mainly consisting of condensed milk, and it was concluded her growth had been stunted.

However, this is all speculation born out of bad research. She was called Boney (pronounced Bonny) because she was bought in Borneo (for £37). This is confirmed throughout various newspaper articles written in 1895 and later by George's son in the book "Grey Titan". Incidentally Waddy's name comes from Irrawaddy and Molly comes from Moulmain.

Anyway, after doing a little bit of research for our book, "The Legend of Salt and Sauce" (available on my blog and from Amazon ;) ), we discovered that many years after Boney's heyday Borneo Pygmy elephants were given their own sub-classification - Elephas maximus borneensis.

Jamie Clubb

Wade G. Burck said...

Great stuff, thank you. If you note the picture's of Boney/Tony she does not look at all like she was undernourished/poorly fed as a calf. She may be short legged(note the truck coiled on the ground) in the picture of her being swept off) but she is a very heavy/thick elephant.
Oscar Christiani/Larry French had a very similar structured elephant in their herd. Goofy looking old girl, when she stood with her head level, her trunk laid on the ground in three coils like a big old fat python. Her trunk wasn't any longer then the other elephants, her legs were just short and stubby.