Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Baby Elephants

This came with three other postcards all issued from the Barnum & Bailey Circus. A Baby elephant is always a welcome sight and one that draws a crowd. This photograph shows a young elephant but not one that was born in the United States.

Over the years, several sucessful births occurred among circuses in the US most notably the Sells-Floto circus having 4 births with their male "Snyder" being the father every time. The Ringling Bros. while still in Baraboo were fortunate enough to have two live births. Thanks to Richard Reynolds III, a distinguished animal historian from Atlanta, evidence has been concretely shown that the Howe's Great London Circus experienced the first birth of an elephant in America in 1875 in St. Joseph, MO. more than 5 years prior to the famed Barnum & London birth.

There have been many a show that claimed to have a newborn elephant this year or that, however it was usually a youngster and an adult exhibited together with the public none the wiser. The importance of a breeding program has intensified tremendously in the last 15 years with successful endeavors such as the African Lion Safari program in Ontario, Canada, The Ringling program in Florida, Gary and Kari Johnson's Have Trunk will Travel in California, the Portland Zoo's program, the Carson & Barnes program, and many others.

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