For over two hundred years, the elephant as we know it today has been crossing this great land called America. The lumbering giant of all the jungles walks as gentle as a kitten, is as powerful as any bulldozer, is heavier that most motorized vehicles, drinks upwards of fifty gallons of water a day and eats over two hundred pounds of food a day.
When the first elephant arrived in this country after crossing the Atlantic Ocean in an old Steam powered freighter, she was an incredible sight to see. Nothing compared to this enormous mammal. No one had seen an animal with what was called “two tails” before. The elephants trunk was a working piece of machinery all by itself. The elephant could feed itself with their trunk. This amazing animal could push anything with its trunk and then pick up the heaviest logs that man could not move. Yes, the elephant was a wondrous sight to see.
The Circus was a great institution of family fun, thrills, spills and chills. In addition to the great performances by limber acrobats and the dazzling horsemanship displays, the circus also brought a modern marvel to each and every town they played at in the form of a traveling zoo or menagerie. Here people could see the animals from around the world that they may not even heard of before.
People gawked with their mouths wide open at seeing a hippopotamus or rhinoceros from the African continent. Giraffes stood as tall as a tree while lions and tigers were on display just a few steps away. Birds of a multitude of colors were yakking and squawking while the slithering, slinking snakes had their own den with glass windows separating us from them. Camels and Dromedaries, Zebras, Llamas, and other lead stock were all bedded down to see. There was one animal that captured everyone’s imagination the most though. The Elephant. Sometimes there was only one elephant and on the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus there were as many as fifty elephants at one time.
At the turn of the 20th century, there were more elephants in the circuses than all of American Zoos put together. Many times, the circus and zoos would buy, sell and trade with each other to get a better display or species than what they already had. In due time, circuses employed the most knowledgeable elephant people in the world. These people learned that even the reproduction of these magnificent animals was possible in America.
“America’s Elephants” is a new eBook by Circus Historian Bob Cline. The entrance to America of the first couple elephants to the growth of elephant groups begins this fabulous journey into the elephants and the people that took care of them every day. You’ll read about the scientific explanations as well as the descriptions of the elephants anatomy and its uses.
Since the circuses became the largest owners of elephants in America for more than 100 years, the circus is given generous portions of the book concerning the elephant trainers that dedicated their lives, the elephants diet and the first live births of elephants in this country 120 years ago, the elephants that were namesakes during their days, a complete chapter about the legendary elephant, Jumbo, the mystical White elephants of the Far East, Zoos and their developments, the disasters that struck elephant groups over the years, and the Breeding and Conservation that is happening today to preserve this mighty and all magical species.
The eBook is 133 pages long filled with some of the most exquisite full color circus posters from days gone by, Black and White and full color photos as well as some of the newspaper ads from 100 years ago.