Narrating the correlation of elephants as related to their import, groupings, breeding and transfers,
along with other elephant related topics.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Jim Stockley Collection - Chipperfields 1956


"Clonmel railway station, Co.Tipperary 1956 -
The 12 Chipperfield elephants leave the station with Doreen Duggan leading Mary elephant. John L Chipperfield is mid-way down the line and Dick Chipperfield bringing up the rear. The show went to Ireland with 15 elephants and sold Jimmy, Blackie and Monica (two males and a female) to Fossett's Circus. Later, eight of these twelve would go with Hugo Schmidt to Ringlings in America." //Jim Stockley

Chipperfield elephants, 1956
Courtesy of J Stockley


Jim S. said...
I've tagged Ryan because he likes 'elephant history' and will be on here asking me elephant names as soon as America wakes up ;-)

Jim S. said...
Mary, Camella, Leilia and Sally were the 4 that stayed with us. Some of the ones that went to America in 1963 were Jenny, Suzy, Ruth, Rani, Mia, and Cita (help me out here with the other two someone?) ;-)

Ryan E. said...
This American was awake 10 hours ago but there was much work to be done! You know me all too well though, Jim. This is very interesting. What prompted the Chipperfields to sell the elephants to Ringling? Buckles' 1970 Blue Show lineup only includes a few of these animals. I wonder what happened to them all?

Dan K. said...
The export for some of those I dated to 68, did I make a mistake? Maybe, cause this was also the RBBB import year for Gunther and his elephants, while of course Hugo was on tour in UK in 1963, like you wrote.
http://www.elephant.se/hugo_schmitt.php

Ryan E. said...
Jim, I second Dan's inquiry. I have also seen the 1968 arrival date for the Chipperfield elephants to America, the same year they acquired the Circus Williams elephants with Gunther. Can you tell us more about the transfer?

Jim S. said...
no question, Dan got it wrong. 1963 was the export of the 8 and by 1964 Chipperfields was here in South Africa with the remaining four big elephants (Mary, Lelia, Camella, Sally) and the five babies (Jane, Carol, Marjorie, Anna, Maryann) - in 1968 they were back in the UK with only the big three...... hope this helps?



Of these 15 original Chipperfield elephants, we learn 2.1 were sold to Fossett's Circus in Ireland - Jimmy, Blackie and Monica. An additional eight were sold to Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus in the United States - Jenny, Suzy, Ruth, Rani, Mia, and Cita, along with two unknown names. The four that remained with the Chipperfield family included Mary, Camella, Leilia and Sally.

Although these animals arrived in the United States with Hugo Schmitt, they did not perform with Hugo on Ringling in 1968, contrary to my first beliefs in my comment to Jim. [Correction: The group of Chipperfield elephants did not arrive with Hugo; see comments from Bob Cline below.] The elephants of the Blue Unit with the same names had different origins. Rather, the Chipperfield elephants were added to the newly created Red Unit under the direction of Gunther Gebel-Williams and with the animals purchased from Germany with Gunther's arrival. Only five of the eight cows mentioned by Jim Stockley performed on the show for the first time in 1969 among a herd of 17 Asian elephants and one African elephant.

After the war, Hugo Schmitt had left Germany to become head elephant trainer for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus in America, where he remained for a quarter of a century. He then made a brief return to Europe in 1963 when Ringling sent a unit to tour in Britain, and was given the job of handling a group of elephants bought from Chipperfield's Circus. They were eventually taken to America to be integrated into the Ringling herds.

>> "Roman Schmitt," Telegraph.co.uk, 03/31/2001

Studbook Records
Jenny, Cita, Ranni, Mia and Suzy are the only Ringling elephants originating from this Chipperfield group listed in the North American Regional Studbook for the Asian Elephant, with Studbook Numbers 111-116, respectively. All have estimated birth dates of 1942, except Suzy (1925). Their arrival dates to the Chipperfield family is unknown and their arrival date to Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus estimated in 1968. Two (Jenny and Suzy) are described as "Lost to Follow-up" and three have estimated death dates in the 1990s (Mia in 1992, Cita and Ranni in 1995). Ruth is not listed.

Records of Bob Cline
From the elephant records of Bob Cline, we find some similar information and some more detailed regarding the same five elephants studbook listings. 50 year old Mia died in 1992. 53 year olds Cita and Ranni died in 1995. Jenny was euthanized on 04/12/2001 at Ringling's Center for Elephant Conservation. No further information is given regarding Suzy. Ruth is not listed.

Rani and Cita's deaths in 1995 due to old age and natural causes are also confirmed in Volume 2 Number 4 of "Elephant: The Publication of the Elephant Research Foundation." Table 4 on pages 65-71, dated January 2000, displays a multitude of data titled "Captive Elephants 1988-1999 and Additions to 1980-1988 Records."

Final Inquiries
- Identity of the final two elephants purchased from the Chipperfields in 1963?
- What became of Ruth between her arrival in 1963 and the Ringling elephant census records of Sabu Moreau in 1968?
- What became of Suzy? (last confirmed year on the Ringling Red Unit was 1975; not included in Ringling's listing in an April 1987 census published in a Circus Report). [Correction: "Suzie" does appear in the 1987 Circus Report Census, one of 21 elephants with the Ringling Red Unit.]
- What became of the three bulls sold to Fossett's Circus in Ireland?

For Additional Information:
>> Circus Chipperfield in United Kingdom at Elephant.se

96 comments:

  1. AnonymousJune 13, 2011

    1956 Elephants Jimmy, Blackie and Monica (two males and a female)were sold to Fossett's Circus in Ireland. Teddy Fossett presented them and later his wife Herta Fossett or her father (Otto Lordini. In 1958 Herta presented them on Circus Samerei Busch in Germany. They were later sold to Russia.

    Ranee (Rani) was the elephant used to carry a tiger. Mabel used to do the head carry.

    5 elephants also went to Borneo? But that's a whole other can of worms to dig into and drive you nuts ;-)

    Some notes to drive you unstable.....

    There were no elephants in circus in England after World War II so Dick Chipperfield went to Sri Lanka in 1947 and bought 9 elephants.

    5 months later, Dick Chipperfield went back to Sri Lanka and bought another 12 elephants and that 9 + 12 made up 21 elephants for a Tom Arnold show at Harringay ( London ) in 1948.

    In the winter of 1948, Rosie Chipperfield (wife of Jimmy) went to Sri Lanka and brought back another 8 elephants (including two bulls)

    ....... making the Chipperfield total 29 Asian elephants in 1949/50 ??

    In the early 1950s we only had 24 elephants.

    By 1956 we only had 16 elephants.

    By 1963 we had 12 elephants.

    Where did the other elephants go between 1949 and 1956?

    Paulo’s Circus bought one called Baby, which went onto Robert Brothers and eventually died in Ireland . Two others died.

    5 of the biggest elephants were sold to the Government of Borneo in 1951.

    3 elephants (2 bulls + 1 cow) went to Fossett’s in Ireland. These 3 + 2 bull elephants were sold to Russia via Chipperfields. They were the act originally known as the "Banda 5" (aka "Band of five" = males Banda, Shandra & Blackie = females May & Jane - male Jimmy later replaced Jane), which Ivor Rosaire worked on Circus Mikkerni (sp?) in Holland and other shows in Sweden, Germany and Belgium in the early 1950s.


    Summary: 29 imported elephants minus 13 elephants (5 to Borneo , 1 to Paulo, 2 dead, Banda 5 to Fosset/Russia = 13)

    29 elephants minus 13 elephants = 16 elephants in 1955

    By 1963 we only had 12 elephants then sold 8 to RBB&B ...... leaving 4 adults.

    let me know if you ever completely untangle it all ....... I note the comment from Buckles!
    very best, Jim

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  2. Jim,

    Wow! What a plethora of information (and confusion as well!) It will be a great task to find what happened to these disappearing bulls and to get records in line. An article primarily focusing on the 8 Chipperfield/Ringling elephants has now taken on the entire Chipperfield history!

    Regarding the 'Banda 5' (I always enjoy group acts with a cool name - Eloise Berchtold's 'Tuskers of Thailand,' Ringling's 'Minyak 5,' etc). Jimmy, Blackie and Monica were sold to Fossett's in 1956. Did the Chipperfields repurchase them and sell them to Russia, or were they a broker and included two more of their own in the sale? Were the two additional bulls sold to Russia Banda and Shandra?

    Your story above states 16 elephants were owned by the Chipperfields in both 1955 and 1956. Would the number in 1956 have been reduced to 13 with the sale of the three to Fossett's? Were the two additional elephants sold to Russia with the Fossett group before 1963, since the 12 owned elephants that year before the Ringling purchase are all known and accounted for?

    The four adults that remained after the Ringling sale in 1963 were Mary, Camella, Leila and Sally. The following year the show traveled to South Africa. When and from where were the five babies (Jane, Carol, Marjorie, Anna and Maryann) brought in?

    When was Baby sold to Paulo's Circus?

    My questions sound about as confusing as your information above! Thanks for the help once again, Jim.

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  3. Gentlemen,
    A great set of comments for sure. Strangely, no one remembers that the reason Ringling bought these elephants was for their European tour in 1964 and 1965. The show was poorly attended and they literally housed the elephants in Europe for two more years before bringing them to the US in 1968. I've got one of the RBBB European programs from those years.
    Jim, Many thanks for getting this started.
    Bob

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  4. Radar,
    I had to look at a couple other records to find that the Chipperfield elephants were stored at Circus Althoff from 1964 until 1968 when the came to America. Only the five ( Cita, Rani, May, Suzie and Jennie ) left Europe so the others must have died or been sold in Europe prior to their 1968 departure.
    Hugo Schmitt was the elephant boss in this country on the RBBB show in 1963. He left here to go to Europe to take over there. Axel Gautier filled in for him here. Upon his return to the US after the failure of the RBBB show in Europe, he took over the RBBB heard again.
    Incidentally, the five Chipperfield elephants all came over with Gunther and his herd and remeined on the newly formed Red Unit with Gunther.
    Bob

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  5. AnonymousJune 14, 2011

    From: Jim Stockley ....... thanks for that Bob, I didn't have that info. There are few records in our family and those that there are often conflict. Jim Clubb and I have had a couple of goes at untangling this (I'll see if he can come take a look here). There is nobody left from my parents generation to ask and I was 3 yrs old in 1956 ;-)

    Ryan, I'm guessing that the sale of 'Baby' to Paulo's was in 1956 and brought the 16 down to the 15 pictured in Clonmel in Ireland. The numbers fit?

    I think the males: Banda, Jimmy, Shandra & Blackie plus Monica went to Russia

    1955 was a turbulent year, Uncle Jim left the family to go off on his own and would later invent'Safari Parks'. By 1956 the "Big Show" was being reduced in size and the post-war boom was slowing down. We went from an 8 pole down to a 4 pole tent.

    Chipperfields left for South Africa in November 1964 and opened Cape Town 12 December 1964. I think the young 5 (Jane, Carol, Marjorie, Anna and Maryann)arrived in the summer of 1964.

    very best

    Jim

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  6. Bob,

    Thank you very much for your great research and sharing with us your findings. The only elephant census compilation I have in my collection for the 1960s was published in 1969, in addition to the Ringling herd censuses of Sabu Moreau in 1968 and 1969. While Ringling's European tour made appearances in 1964 and 1965, were they given the original "Gold" unit name or was that name not designated to a show until the Japan tour in 1988? I would love to see any elephant images in these programs if you would like to share them!

    Thanks again for all your help and humoring of a young elephant enthusiast - Much of what I do could not be done without your help and extensive years of research.

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  7. AnonymousJune 14, 2011

    Of the five elephants that were sold to Russia, there`s a good possibility that Jimmy went to Kaliningrad (ex-Koenigsberg) zoo. He arrived there in 1960, and was estimated to be around 20 years old, (studbook puts his birth year as 1941, news article from 1999 states him to be oldest elephant in Europe at 61). Another news article from January 2000, several months before his death, mentions him as an ex-circus elephant, and describes his numerous health issues - wear of teeth, gastritis, heart condition. I have no info concerning the other four, but they easily may have been renamed and/or ended up with some of dozens of travelling menageries maintained by soviet circus organisation.

    Leo.

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  8. Radar,
    I might be wrong, but I don't remember hearing the Gold unit until the Japan tour in 1988 I think it was.
    Bob

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  9. Leo,
    Thanks for joining us and for your astute observation. Jimmi's page at Elephant.se states he was born in Sri Lanka in 1941. This location is one more indication he may be the same Jimmi as the Chipperfield's Jimmy. Jim Stockley told us earlier the original 29 elephants imported between 1947-48 were from Sri Lanka. However, I do not know the source for the data input at Elephant.se.

    >> http://www.elephant.se/database2.php?elephant_id=1152

    Could you share the links to the news articles you reference?

    Jim,
    The numbers fit for Baby's sale to Paulo's between 1955-1956 for the 12-bull parade in Ireland. I have been in contact with the grandson of Baby's original Irish purchaser and will have more information to share soon regarding this elephant.

    Some numbers that do not fit - the sale of Banda and Shandra to Europe with the Fossett group. All 16 bulls from 1955 to the last four in 1964 are accounted for by name, but you state the Fossett bulls left in 1956. An additional two removals from the 12 remaining does not add in to the numbers. Had they already been sold to Fossett's? Maybe we can find a Fossett descendent that can share some information about all this!

    I have found a lot more information pertaining to the Borneo bulls and what became of them after their return to Asia. I will share that soon as well when time permits to finish the article. See what you have started?! Many thanks for this fascinating start to a fascinating story. This post is one of my favorites thus far since the beginnings of ShowMe Elephants last year.

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  10. AnonymousJune 15, 2011

    Here are links to these news articles (in Russian), both dealing with Jimmy`s may 1999 killing of zoo visitor, who climbed the elephant enclosure safety barrier.

    http://textb.ru/58/95
    http://www.trud.ru/article/29-01-2000/1117_zhivotnye_ne_vinovaty.html

    On the other hand, this Jimmy may have been different individual. In the second article zoo spokeswoman said that Jimmy came from Taganrog circus "where he worked for many years". Taganrog is a small city in the South of Russia, and while it has a stationary circus building, i never found any information about them having permanent locally-based elephant act, especially considering scarcity of elephants in the 1950`s soviet circus. In reality, this information may mean that Jimmy was removed from circus act during their engagement in Taganrog - perhaps, after becoming hard to control? First article relates the story of his arrival at the zoo - he was walked from the train station being chained to a truck for safety reasons, but attacked that truck and pushed it over.

    Leo.

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  11. AnonymousJune 15, 2011

    Well, you see to be getting somewhere with this ... well done ;-) One suggestion to lessen confusion would be to drop the American circus custom of calling elephants of both sexes 'Bulls'? When I refer to a bull, like most non-American circus people, I refer to a MALE elephant (not a female).... so when you write "All 16 bulls from 1955 to the last four in 1964" ... I know what you mean but to some readers it would suggest 16 MALE elephants? Just an observation ;-)

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  12. Leo,
    Thank you for again for your help and the background information involving some of these Russian locations. The story of Jimmi's 'difficult' arrival to Kaliningrad points to an interesting quandary. Could it be that when this English circus family's elephants were sold to Russia (the state or entities operating therein), ten to 15 years following the start of the Cold War, the Chipperfields would "unload" some of their most problem animals to a country so far away? Jim has told us four of the five animals were bulls, not generally the most savory of circus performers. Perhaps they thought it would be a just revenge following the discovery of Soviet spies operating in the Motherland. Of course, this is all just speculation.

    Jim,
    I hope we are getting somewhere with all this. I have been going over scenarios regarding this group in my sleep! I understand your sentiment with the terminology 'bulls' instead of 'elephants' to reduce reader confusion. However, let us hope you do not advise us to take the Wade Burck path and eliminate all other bull-related tool names ('bull hook' and 'bull tub') in favor of things like 'elephantine settees' LOL.

    Any thoughts on the scenario when Banda and Shandra left Chipperfield?

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  13. Bob,
    I thought of another question for you regarding Ringling's 1964-65 European Tour. Were the eight purchased from Chipperfield the only elephants on the show? I think perhaps it would be best to make this a separate location in the database to curb any confusion, such has already been created wtih this scenario. Although the animals were owned by Ringling in America, as you state the two unknown cows and Ruth never made it to American soil. It would be inappropriate to place them in the Venice-based circus location. This is the same dilema when placing Carson and Barnes elephants (or other leased acts) on shows today. Dick Flint visited a few weeks ago and told me you were ready to pull your hair out for this very reason when you first began documenting elephant history :)

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  14. Radar,
    When did I suggest we "eliminate all other bull-related tool names????" What I did suggest not so long ago was we stop referring to elephants as bulls, unless they were males.

    Wade Burck

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  15. Wade,
    It is only harmless ribbing, my friend! I understand the sentiment expressed by you and Jim and will adjust my wording accordingly. Thank you both for the advice and teachings.

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  16. AnonymousJune 16, 2011

    from Jim Stockley: Glad to see Mr Burck and I are on the same page about "bulls" ;-) Thanks Wade!

    Jim Clubb emailed me to say ... "The 12 elephants that Chippefields had before RBBB and S.Africa were as follows: Mary, Lelia, Camila, Suzy, Dalia, Dina, Rani, Cita, Mai, Mabel, Jane and Sally. I don't know of Jenny or Ruth. Now, one elephant went to Uncle Jimmy Chipperfield’s zoo in Southampton, which I think was Mabel because she was lame. Anyway, that’s all I can add. I know for sure they sent five to Borneo, as these were the nucleus of the first trained elephants in Borneo, but I am sure I have told you this before. They couldn’t unload them off the boat because there was no jetty and they had to swim ashore ...."

    very best

    Jim

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  17. AnonymousJune 16, 2011

    Radar,

    I think there may be a simpler and less conspiratory explanation to this purchase. Soviet circus industry was managed by a central organisation within Department of Culture, and decisions about such matters as animal import were not necessarily made by persons with first-hand animal (or even general circus) experience. Some bueraucrat may have jumped on the chance to get five large, supposedly well-trained elephants that could be put to the ring immediately, especially if they were offered at an attractive price (after being offered to, and passed on by Western circuses?). And they may have had not a slightest idea about dangers involved with male elephants. Trainers were not in a position to complain, and if someone on top of the professional hierarchy passed offer of a "bad" animal(s), there always were others who would gladly take what they could get. It would be interesting to find out who exactly got those elephants upon their import, but period press almost never mentioned individual elephants by name.

    Leo.

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  18. Radar,
    Yes, I knew you were ribbing, but it brings up the subject of the idiotic custom of calling all circus elephant's "bulls." A couple of years ago, there was a discussion on the "history channel" about that practice. Buckles stated that he didn't like the custom and only refereed to them as bulls if male, and cow's if females. I have always wondered where/when the custom of calling circus elephants "bulls began, as well as the title "bull man." It seems to be the die hard fans who are loath to call them anything but "bulls."

    Wade Burck

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  19. Jim,
    Thank you for getting in touch with Mr. Clubb and please pass my gratitude on to him as well for his assistance. He has both helped a lot and has caused more questions to arise.

    We have a second confirmation of 12 elephants prior to the Ringling sale. With the new information, we have 12 names where previously we only had 10. However, four names are new (Dalia, Dina, Jane and Mabel) and two from the previous list are not included (Jenny and Ruth).

    It is already confirmed that Jenny was one of the eight purchased by Ringling and brought to America. Perhaps a name change took place; 'Jenny' is similar to 'Jane.' This is only a guess.

    Ruth may have been a name change as well, either during her time with Ringling in Europe or while housed at Circus Althoff where she died or was sold from; she did not travel with the group to America.

    We already knew of Mabel by name; she performed the head carry. Her existence in Jim Clubb's list of 12 skews our numbers from 1955-1963. Previously it was thought 16 elephants were owned in 1955. (Was this just via the math equation above, Jim S, or was this a confirmed numer?) The number was reduced to 12 the following year with the sale of Baby to Paulo's and the three to Fossett's. With the sale of eight more to Ringling in 1963, it left the Chipperfield's with the four adults taken to South Africa. These numbers all added up for Jim Stockley's 16 in 1955 and 4 in 1963.

    Henceforth, if Mabel was one of the 12 and retired to Southampton (she was lame), our numbers are not correct. There must have been more than 16 elephants in 1955. I did some research and found Southampton was not opened until 1961. Were there animals here before this? I just noticed Jim S's comment that 1955 held the year Jimmy Chipperfield left the show to later build the safari parks. Did he take Mabel with him?

    We also still have the mystery of when the additional two bulls (used correctly to identify male elephants, Mr. Burck and Mr. Stockley) were sold to the Soviet Union with the Fossett's herd of three (after 1956, the year Fossett acquired the Chipperfield act). This could perhaps bring the number to 19 in 1955 or earlier. It would bring us closer to identifying the 29 elephants originally imported from Sri Lanka in 1947/48.

    I would like to learn more regarding Southampton but that is for another day of stressful hair pulling! My brain is already fried with this 1950s Chipperfield business :)

    Thank you once again to everyone that is helping with this mystery. ShowMe Elephants, indeed!

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  20. Leo,
    It sounds as I may have been half right in my estimation of the Soviet Union's acquisition of the Chipperfield/Fossett group. As I said, it was just speculation. I often forget that world history and "current" events (relative to the time period) can play a major role in captive elephant history as we will see regarding the five Borneo Chipperfield elephants.

    I took your lead regarding the European Studbook and found another interesting note at Kaliningrad. A female elephant of unknown age arrived at the location approximately 1940; her name was 'Shanda.' She died in July 1974. Jonas Livet's AsianElephant.net contains different information. He states her name was 'Shandra' and she arrived in 1957. Contradictory records again indicate she was the mother of two calves at the zoo (according to the Studbook) or three calves (according to Jonas Livet). Despite the contradictory records, a very interesting coincidence (even though Jim Stockley has told us the Chipperfield's Shandra was a bull). Can you find any more information to correct these contradicting records between Jonas and the EEP, or link the Russian elephant with the Chipperfields?

    If I may ask, where are you from and what is your relation/interest to elephant history? You may contact me directly at shomeetigers[at]yahoo.com if you like. Thank you very much for you help and patronage of ShowMe Elephants.

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  21. AnonymousJune 16, 2011

    From Ron Jarvis at 'Circus on Facebook:'

    Hate to butt in... but I think I rode Rani for 2 years on the RBBB Red Unit 73-74. Never knew how to spell Rani.

    Rani was sweet as could be. We played every show. I would mount facing backwards then spin around and knock on the harness plate and Rani would give me her trunk. After singing into it for a while we would play tug of war... between shows we would fight over sweet-feed until Gunther would chase me away. They had not invented granola yet! ; ^ )

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  22. john herriottJune 17, 2011

    When Hugo went back to europe to routine the elephants for the RBBB show there I believe the show also booked a "private" act of some three elephants to make for a bigger herd. So at the finish those so-called Chipperfield remained in Europe until such time that Feld had them brought over with Gunther-Williams herd. Trolle Rhodin had become a confidante-agent-emprisario for Ringling in Europe and in talks with him I got the impression that he had booked them in Poland and the East until such time as he being a neutral Swede had easy open doors to the Communist world, hence the importation of so many acts from the east.john herriott

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  23. Thank you very much for the insight, Mr. Herriott. Your comments and a discussion I had yesterday with a former bullhand (can I use the term in this situation, Stockley and Burck?) of Hugo in 1960 brings up another question and scenario regarding Ringling and the Chipperfield herd/Williams herd. As we have been informed, the European tour folded and the elephants were housed in Europe before their arrival. They were housed at Circus Althoff four years before that show was purchased by the Ringling organization, under the new ownership of Irvin Feld.

    This brought me to wonder if the plans to purchase the German circus were underway with John Ringling North or if the move was the first 'big decision' made by the new owner Feld. Casey Cainan shares that North was interested in bringing Gunther to America, but Gunther would not come unless Ringling bought Circus Althoff-Williams. North said no; Feld thought differently once he gained ownership. Can anyone else offer more insight to this transition? Or was it just a coincidence the animals were held at the show four years before it would be purchased by Ringling?

    Our own Mr. North (John Ringling North II) will return in several weeks to Kelly Miller. Perhaps he can share more information as well.

    Another note regarding the names given by Mr. Clubb - Jim Stockley, Bob Cline and the North American Regional Studbook for the Asian Elephant all list one elephant with the name of 'Mia.' However, Jim Clubb and the Ringling Red 1968-75 records of Sabu Moreau all name the same animal as 'Mai.' Sabu's records were all compiled during his time with the show.

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  24. AnonymousJune 17, 2011

    From Jim Stockley:

    Jim Clubb reminded me that when the Chipperfield show came back from S Africa they bought four big elephants back and not just three. They lost Camilla back in the UK during the winter of ‘69/’70

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  25. Radar,
    I believe that is hogwash about North bringing GGW to America, and hogwash about GGW not coming unless the whole show was purchased. That decision was not up to GGW. Of course every one wanted to take credit for him years later, that's normal in the circus business. I was have to see some real documented proof to accept a North/GGW connection of any kind.

    Wade Burck

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  26. Wade,
    I understand your sentiments. Hence, my wonder whether it was a coincidence that Ringling's recently purchased Chipperfield elephants were housed at Circus Williams or if there were already plans for the animals to all be brought over at a later date.

    Taking John Herriott's lead regarding another leased act for the European Ringling show, I have found information from Buckles Woodcock that states, "John Ringling North framed an indoor cirus to tour Europe, bought an elephant act from the Chipperfields and hired two more acts in Europe to fill out the three rings." I wonder who these other acts were?

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  27. AnonymousJune 18, 2011

    Radar,

    Here`s what i found on Kaliningrad`s Shandra. This biographic article about the director of the zoo (http://rosvesty.ru/1791/culture/?id=126&i=1) states that she arrived at the zoo in 1955 from East Germany, and was about 17 years old at the time. 1955 date is also mentioned in several other articles on city history, as the year zoo got its first elephant after the war. No information is provided on her background in Germany, but date and location seem to be consistent with information provided by Jim in the first reply, on "Banda 5" act being presented in Europe in early 50`s. Death date of 1974 conflicts with information about birth of stillborn calf by her in 1975, and if it is true, then the second version (1982) would be more likely. Info on her arrival in 1940 is certainly incorrect, obviously confusing her with Tuzinka from Warsaw zoo, who`s listed on elephant.se as arriving in December 1939, especially considering that the zoo was nearly destroyed during taking of city by soviet forces in March 1945, with only four animals surviving - hippo, deer, donkey and a badger.

    Wikipedia article on Koenigsberg/Kalinigrad zoo has a postcard of a female asian elephant named Jenny giving rides to kids, dated 1911. I didn`t found her listed at either elephant.se or asianelephant.net. History section of zoo website also mentions the elephant being kept there in early 30`s, but there`s no information as to its identity. Records after that time and up to 1945 seem to be lost.

    As to your inquiry - i don`t have any professional connection to elephants, circus or zoo, but i`ve had interest in them since i can remember myself, and made some attempts to research history of elephants in Russia, mainly from period press. I greatly enjoy visiting your website, as well, as those of Dan Koehl and Jonas Livet. I can email you some (sketchy) information about some russian/soviet circus elephants that are not yet listed in any online database, if you would like me to.

    Leo.

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  28. Leo,

    Thank you very much for the great research. We will wait for Jim Stockley to rejoin us and find if it is possible the Chipperfield's Shandra was actually a female. I agree with you, the evidence is strong this is the same animal, as well as Jimmy.

    Some information I found in "Dokumentation 2002: Elephants in European Zoos and Safari Parks," published by the European Elephant Group:

    A chart including stock of elephants from the opening of the zoo until 1945 includes five female Asian elephants at Kaliningrad (formerly Konisberg).

    The 03/11/1985 birth at Kalingrad was born to Pregjola. The 02/20/1980 birth for Shandra was her last.

    Jimmy's birth is listed in 1945, arrival in 1950 and death in 2000 of old age. Shandra's birth is listed in 1953, arrival in 1957 and death in 1982 of unknown reasons.

    As we see, the EEG information is more constructive for the Chipperfield correction with Shandra's arrival, though not her birth. Jimmy's arrival date is contradicted by both the studbook and your researched news articles.

    I will add Jenny as well as the four other females found in the EEG records to the database. I am waiting for more conclusive information before updating any of the Chipperfield elephant information. With so many possibilities and unknowns, we do not want to disseminate any more incorrect information to add to the confusion.

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  29. Leo,
    I forgot to add a very important note - I of course would love to post any information you have regarding those Soviet zoo and circus elephants. It does intrigues me that some Russian elephants are listed in the EEP Studbook (with limited, and as we have seen sometimes incorrect records, but Italian elephants are not.

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  30. AnonymousJuly 11, 2011

    HI I WAS IN 1963 WORKING WITH CHIPPERFIELDS CIRCUS HAS A ELEPHANT KEEPER, SO I MIGHT BE ABLE TO TELL YOU A FEW THINGS OF INTEREST.FIRST I WILL TELL YOU ABOUT THE ELEPHANT SALLY, SHE WAS DEFINITLEY THERE BEST ELEPHANT LOVED BY ME, AND ALL THE CHIPPERFIELD FAMILY, SHE WAS CLASSED HAS A LUCKY ELEPHANT, WHEN WASHED AND WIRE BRUSHED DOWN SHE WAS NEARLY WHITE, AND HAD A LUCKY BUMP ON HER FOREHEAD. SHE ONLY WOULD ALLOW CERTAIN PEOPLE NEAR HER, HAS I QUICKLY FOUND OUT, I WAS SET UP BY THE OTHER ELEPHANT KEEPERS, TO PUT HER HEAD HARNESS ON FOR THE NIGHTS PERFORMANCE, ONE HAD TO JUMP UP IN FRONT OF HER TO ACHIEVE THIS,. ANYWAY I COULD FEEL MY RIB CAGE BENDING HAS SHE GAVE ME A MASSIVE HEAD BUTT, AND I ENDED UP ON THE CANVAS WALLS OF THE ELEPHANT TENT, TOOK ME A FEW MONTHS BEFORE I COULD GO NEAR HER, GOT TO THE STAGE WHEN I USE TO SLEEP ALL NIGHT WITH HER IN THE STRAW,HAD TO BE CARFUL WHEN SHE TURNED OVER,NOTE: I WAS NOT GIVEN A CARAVAN TO SLEEP IN HAS YET. SHE LIKED HER SMALL TITTIES BETWEEN HER FRONT LEGS SQEEZED AND WOULD START PURRING, AND START ALL THE OTHER ELEPHANTS OF. I NEVER SAW ANY ILL TREATMENT DONE TO HER BY JOHN CHIPPERFIELD HER TRAINER,WHO WAS A WONDERFUL MAN AND VERY WELL EDUCATED: ONE DID NOT NEED TO, SHE WAS TO SMART, SHE WAS THE BEST IN THE RING AND HER BEST ACT AND FINAL ONE WAS A VERY HIGH HANDSTAND ON FOUR TUBS, AND I ALWAYS REMEMBER THE LOUDER THE CROWED CLAPPED THE LONGER SHE STAYED UP THERE. I HAVE A FEW MORE STORIES, HAS I WENT TO THE RINGLINGS TOUR OF EUROPE WITH THE EIGHT ELEPHANTS, AND ALSO WORKED IN SWEDEN WITH THEM BEFORE THEY WENT TO AMERICA,NEVER THOUGHT THERE WOULD BE A HISTORICAL INTEREST IN THEM, CHEERS PETER

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  31. AnonymousJuly 11, 2011

    hI, RANEE THE CHIPPERFIELDS ELEPHANT, WE USE TO CALL RONNY WAS DEFINITLY NOT THE ELEPHANT WHAT CARRIED THE TIGER ON HER BACK, FOR A START SHE WAS TO TALL, SAME HAS DAHLIA AND DINA,WHO WE USE TO CALL DIANNA.ALSO SHE WAS LIMITED TO LEARNING MUCH, IT WAS JENNY HAS SHE WAS THE SMALLEST OUT OF THE LOT, ALSO SHE WAS THE MOST NERVOUS ELEPHANT OUT OF THE 12 I WORKED WITH, AND I GUESS IT WAS THE EFFECTS LEFT WITH HER AFTER BEING TRAINED FOR THE TIGER ELEPHANT ACT,AND ALSO HER AND SUZZIE DID NOT GET ON,ONCE WHEN THEY WAS CHAINED SIDE BY SIDE, AND ONE NIGHT SUZZIE GOT FREE FROM HER FRONT CHAIN, AND BIT HER TAIL OF, AND I WAS JUST THINKING HOW I USE TO TRUST SUSSIE BY PUTTING MY HAND IN HER MOUTH TO FEEL HER PIANO TEETH,ALSO USE TO SHOW OF TO THE CROWD IN THE ELEPHANT TENT, BY PUTTING MY HEAD UNDER HER FOOT X 1963 CHIPPERFIELDS ELEPHANT KEEPER ; PETER

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  32. AnonymousJuly 11, 2011

    THE TWO CHIPPERFIELDS ELEPHANTS WHAT ARE MISSING ON THE LIST, WHAT WERE SOLD TO RINGLINGS CIRCUS IN CALAI IN FRANCE IN 63 WAS DAHLIA AND DINA [DIANNA]. I SHOULD KNOW BECAUSE I WAS THE ONE WHO DELIVERED THEM TO RINGLINGS, AND WENT WITH THEM ON THEIR EUROPEON TOUR, WHICH WAS FANTASTIC. DAHLIA AND DIANNA WAS VERY CLOSE TOGETHER,LIKE LOVERS, AND WHEN DAHLIA WAS BEING TRAINED, AND DINA [DIANNA] THOUGHT SHE WAS GETTING HURT, THERE WOULD BE A HELL OF COMMOTION,ONCE IN THE PALAI OF SPUR, {PALACE OF SPORT} PARIS, WHERE WE FIRST PERFORMED, DINA BROKE FREE FROM HUGO"S TRAINING, AND RUN AMOCK THROUGH THE GROUNDS, WHEN ME, AND A FEW OTHER GUYS,EVENTUALLY SLOWED HER DOWN , BEFORE SHE COULD INJURE SOMEONE, OR HERSELF, SO THE PAIR WAS VERY LIMITED IN THERE TRAINING POTENTIAL,WHAT GERMAN TRAINER HUGO WAS TO FIND OUT IN HURRY, THATS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY JOHN CHIPPERFIELD GOT RID OF THEM.PLUS THEY WERE GETTING OLD AND SLOW. X 1963 CHIPPERFIELDS ELEPHANT KEEPER, PETER

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  33. John Ringling North II, nephew to former Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus owner John Ringling North, has arrived from his home in Ireland to the Kelly Miller Circus, which is under his fifth year of ownership. I inquired to Mr. North about the Ringling European tour and the elephant purchased from the Chipperfields. He shared that he had traveled to Europe for the show, which only lasted a full season, but toured France, Germany and Italy. He also shared that many of the Europeans, especially the French, were not fond of the three ring set up. The Chipperfield elephants filled the three rings for the performance. His uncle was aware of Gunther and on friendly terms, but was opposed to anyone telling him he "had" to buy a circus. The Circus Williams purchase in 1968 was Irvin Feld's decision. Mr. North also surmised that the elephants were not housed in at Circus Williams but rather sold. They were, by chance, reacquired by Ringling when Feld purchased the German show.

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  34. Peter,
    Thank you very much for your insight and additional information you have provided. The keeper who delivered the Chipperfield elephants to Ringling? Talk about straight from the horse's mouth! Can you tell us when in 1963 the elephants changed ownership and were moved from the United Kingdom to France?

    Jim Clubb names the 12 elephants as Mary, Lelia, Camila, Suzy, Dalia, Dina, Rani, Cita, Mai, Mabel, Jane and Sally. Jim Stockley names the Mary, Camella, Leilia, Sally, Jenny, Suzy, Ruth, Rani, Mia, Cita and 2 unknown. Jim Clubb had never heard of Jenny or Ruth. Can you confirm the names of the twelve Chipperfield elephants before the sale to Ringling?

    We have also heard from John Herriott that a private act of "some three elephants" was booked to "make for a bigger herd." Buckles Woodcock states two more acts in Europe were hired to "fill out the three rings." Can you confirm or deny either of these statements?

    In any of these scenarios, which elephants were presented together in which ring? How long did you work with these animals? Were they sold to Circus Williams or only housed there?

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  35. AnonymousJuly 11, 2011

    12 ELEPHANTS CHIPPERFIELDS DELIVERY TO FRANCE. ANOTHER MISTAKE I HAVE TO CLARIFY, WHEN I SAID I DELIVERED THEM TO CALAI FRANCE,WHEN THE FINAL DESTINATION WAS LILLE FRANCE, WHERE RINGLING BROS WAS PREPARING THE SHOW FOR THEIR TOUR OF EUROPE.L WILL ANSWER OTHER QUESTIONS, WHEN I FIND MY PASSPORT, AND CHECK ALL THE DATES FROM THAT PERIOD X CHIPPERFIELDS ELEPHANT KEEPER PETER

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  36. AnonymousJuly 11, 2011

    THE PRIVATE ACT OF THE OTHER ELEPHANTS BOOKED FOR THE RINGLINGS EUROPE TOUR WAS RIGHT, HAS I READ THE QUESTION I REMEMBERED AT THE TIME WHEN I WAS WITH RINGLINGS, BEING WITH THESE OTHER ENGLISH ELEPHANT KEEPERS FROM ANOTHER CURCUS, IT COULD HAVE BEEN BERTRAM MILLS OR BILLY SMARTS, I AM LEANING MORE TO BERTRAM MILLS.A COMMENT I READ IN THE ARTICLE RINGLINGS SHOW WENT TO ITALY, WELL I DID NOT GO THERE THATS FOR SURE,AND I DO NOT THINK THAT THEY WENT TO ITALY AFTER THE ELEPHANTS LEFT THE SHOW THINK WE ENDED UP IN COPENHAGEN DENMARK. X CHIPPERFIELDS ELEPHANT KEEPER PETER

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  37. AnonymousJuly 11, 2011

    TROLLE RHODIN; 8 CHIPPERFIELDS ELEPHANTS, RINGLINGS TOUR, TROLLE RHODIN 1963 FROM THE CIRCUS CARAVAN, SWEDEN, I FIRST MET TROLLE RHODIN TOURING WITH RINGLINGS CIRCUS, EUROPEON TOUR, HE AND HIS BEAUTIFUL WIFE, HAD A PASSION FOR HORSES, AND PART OF THEIR ACT WAS HIS WIFE CANTERING THIS MAGNIFICENT GREY. THEY WAS VERY FREINDLY WITH JOHN RINGLING NORTH, ONE COULD ALWAYS SEE THEM TOGETHER IN THE STALLS, ANYHOW NEAR THE END OF RINGLING CIRCUS TOUR, I WAS APPROACHED BY TROLLE RHODIN, AND HE ASKED ME, WOULD I LIKE TO GO WITH THE CHIPPERFIELD ELEPHANTS, AND WORK WITH THEM AT HIS CIRCUS IN MALMO, SWEDEN. THAT THE ELEPHANTS HAD BEEN LOANED [NOT SOLD] TO HIM FROM JOHN NORTH, [ I DOUBT IF TROLLE HAD THE MONEY TO BUY THE 8 ELEPHANTS THAT TIME, HAS HE WAS ONLY A SMALL TIME SHOWMAN]. I DID A SEASON WITH TROLLE, TOURING SWEDEN, AND THE LAST 2 VENUES I DID WITH HIM WAS GOTLAND, AND FINLAND, WHEN IN FINLAND, I WAS TOLD BY TROLLE THAT THE ELEPHANTS WHERE GOING TO MADDINGTON SQUARE GARDENS, AMERICA, AND I COULD GO WITH THEM IF I WANTED TO ,WHICH I DECIDED NOT TO, AND I RETURNED BACK TO ENGLAND, AND THAT WAS THE END OF MY CIRCUS LIFE, SO I HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF WHERE THE ELEPHANTS WENT TO BETWEEN THE TIMES OF FINLAND AND AMERICA.AND I HAVE THROUGH YOUR WEB SITE, BECOME AWARE THAT NOT ALL THE ELEPHANTS WENT TO AMERICA, I THINK DINA AND DALIA AND SOME OTHERS , HAVE YOU ANY IDEA WHERE THEY ENDED UP. HOPE I HAVE BEEN OF SOME HELP TO YOU RYAN, FROM THE X 1963 CHIPPERFIELDS KEEPER PETER

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  38. AnonymousJuly 11, 2011

    HI JIM CLUBS LIST OF CHIPPERFIELDS 12 ELEPHANTS IS DEFINITLEY RIGHT, BECAUSE HAS I KEPT LOOKING AT HIS LIST,IT BECAME OBVIOUS TO ME IT WAS DONE IN THE SAME SEQUENCE OR LINE, THAT WE USE TO CHAIN THEM UP IN THE ELEPHANT STABLES, WHICH I DID, DAY AFTER DAY FOR TWO YEARS,I GUESS SOMEONE AT SOME STAGE WENT IN THE TENT AND DID THE LIST FROM THE LEFT ONWARDS, IT STARTED WITH MARY FROM THE LEFT SIDE OF THE TENT AND ENDED UP WITH SALLY AT THE OTHER END. ALSO AFTER WORKING THIS OUT, I ALSO REALIZE THERE WAS NO JENNY WHAT I TALKED ABOUT BEFORE, IT WAS CAMILA I WAS TALKING ABOUT,[ HAS SHE WAS ALWAYS CHAINED UP NEXT TO SUZY] MUST HAVE MIXED THE NAMES UP AFTER READING A ARTICLE ABOUT JENNY, ITS BEEN NEARLY HALF A CENTURY SINCE I LAST SAW THEM , SO MY BRAIN IS A LITTLE BIT RUSTY. AND CAMILA ALSO WAS THE ELEPHANT WITH THE TIGER ON HER BACK ACT, SO I HOPE THAT PUT THAT MATTER TO REST. FROM CHIPPERFIELDS X ELEPHANT KEEPER PETER

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  39. AnonymousJuly 12, 2011

    the eight elephants chipperfields sold to ringling bros, was going by the dates in my old passport,that they arrived at lille france 16th september 1963, from there they appeared at paris starting 20th october 1963. from there they arrived at hamburg on the 13th december 1963.did alot of citys in germany after hamburg, from there they arrived at copenhagen Denmark 21st january 1964.then they did further citys in germany.munich ect the chipperfield elephants left ringlings at the end of the tour and arrived in sweden on the 12th may 1964 when they went to trolli rhodin circus caravan, malmo.toured sweden, and from there the elephants went to helsinki finland on the 5th oct 1964.after the tour of finland, thats when l left trolli rhodins circus caravan, and the elephants, after being told they would be going to america.l worked with the chipperfields elephants for a total of 3 years, hope this information helps with your records x 1963 chipperfields elephant peter keeper

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  40. AnonymousJuly 12, 2011

    THE EXACT DATE THE 8 CHIPPERFIELDS ELEPHANTS ARRIVED AT RINGLINGS CIRCUS IN FRANCE, AFTER LOOKING AT THE RECORDS OF THE PREVIOUS PASSPORT I HELD THAT TIME WAS THE 24th. 8. 63.I WAS NOT HUNDRED PERCENT SURE BEFORE, BUT THE ENTRY IN MY PASSPORT CONFIRMS THE EXACT DATE, SORRY TO CONFUSE THE ISSUE, ITS NOT EASY AFTER ALL THESES YEARS, X CHIPPERFIELDS ELEPHANT KEEPER, PETER

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  41. AnonymousJuly 15, 2011

    IN THE 70S IN SOUTH ENGLAND I HAD THE JOB OF PICKING UP TWO FULL GROWN ELELPHANTS UP, CALLED MOTO AND TOTO FROM CHICHESTER ZOO ? NORTH ENGLAND, AND I HAD TO TAKE THEM BACK TO THE ZOO IN MARGATE KENT, WHO HAD PURCHASED THEM, ANY REFERENCE TO THIS PAIR OF ELEPHANTS. ALSO I HAVE A FEW PHOTOS OF CHIPPERFIELDS ELEPHANTS IN TROLLES CIRCUS CARAVAN SWEDEN 1964, IF YOU WANT ME TO SEND THEM TO YOU, I COULD SEND YOU THEM BY EMAIL, THANKS X CHIPPERFIELDS KEEPER 1963. LOVE THE PHOTO YOU HAVE OF THE CHIPPERFIELD ELEPHANTS LEAVING TIPPERARY STATION 1956, THE THING I NOTICED WAS, WERE WAS THE KEEPERS THEM DAYS, MAYBE THE CIRCUS DID NOT HAVE THE MONEY TO EMPLOYE THEM

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  42. Peter,
    I am sorry for the late reply. I would love any pictures you have to share. Please contact me at shomeetigers[at]yahoo.com. I am researching more information regarding Moto and Toto. Were they Africans or Asians? I look forward to hearing from you again. Thank you for all you have provided.

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  43. Dieter WichertSeptember 18, 2011

    I joined Circus Williams early 1968 right when they came from Italy. They arrived when we arrived in the shipyard in Bremerhaven in Nov 1968, 5 of them, Cita, Rani, May, Suzie and Jenny, I believe they came from Chipperfield, but you're the expert my friend. It was the first time we seen these 5 elephants and they were loaded with the other 12 which were Williams elephants.

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  44. From Bob Cline's "Sawdust and Spangles," 09/04/2011:

    "They did not buy Circus Williams. They booked the animal acts including a pigeon act worked by Elena Ben Said. Later seasons they would purchase those animal acts but they never bought the circus and it would remain in qtrs. in Germany and Carola Williams, owner would partner with various people with circus endeavors in Europe.I wish that writers, especially historians like yourself would stop using this expression. Thank you. john herriott"

    "Mr. Herriott, I have the utmost respect for yourself and those before me that are the knowledgeable ones.
    One of the hardest parts of being a historian is taking the information provided and then trying to figure out if it is actually true or not. I've found items in Billboard from the turn of the century that didn't go along with the local newspaper accounts.
    So I appreciate your correction and that "WE" might all get the story straight.
    All my best to you and yours, Bob"

    "This is the first account of this nature I have heard of the Circus Williams transition. Thank you for educating us, Mr. Herriott. Ryan"

    http://circustents.blogspot.com/2011/09/rbbb-1968_1675.html

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  45. Both EEP and Jonas Livet state that Jimmi arrived in Kaliningrad in 1950. I guess Jonas relies on EEP in this case, so it may be worth to ask Rob about a confirmation of that date, and if he can, they are of course not the same.

    But if Jimmy really arrived Königsberg 1960, I guess it may be possible they are the same elephant.

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  46. Leo and Radar; regarding the Wikipedia article on Koenigsberg/Kalinigrad zoo which has a postcard of a female asian elephant named Jenny giving rides to kids, dated 1911.

    I found Jenny (EM-F) - arrived to Warsaw 1936 from unknown, moved to a circus 04.1939. But EEP stated as born 1932, which may be false.

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  47. Dan,
    My version of the EAZA-EEP Asian Elephant Studbook states "Data current as of November 2008" and lists Jimmi's (#6401) arrival to Kaliningrad 20-Oct-1960. Do you have a more recent version that changed this date to 1950 as you state? I do now see that Jonas' site lists 1950 as an arrival, though only the year is listed, perhaps implying a different source than the EEP.

    There is also a Jenny who arrived to Budapest in 1927 and died there nine years later. She has an estimated birthdate of 1911. Again, this may be false. The Jenny pictured in the Wikipedia article appears to be older than middle aged.

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  48. Buckles WoodcockNovember 11, 2011

    Ryan, I have the five Chipperfield elephants listed as "Cita", "Rani", "May" (Mai-Mai?), "Suzie" and "Jennie".

    "May" and "Suzie" were both left at the Venice Quarters in 1991 where Axel's herd remained while the Togni elephants were on the Blue Show, I am led to believe that she died that year.

    "Suzie" however, was moved up to the surplus elephant farm at Williston, FL in 1992 where she was last listed in 1994. I don't know the death date or circumstances of either.

    Buckles

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  49. Jim and Peter, abn others, when reading through this again, (had too much stress during the summer, when Ryan asked me to take a look) I discover I missed the important part with some elephants that I didnt list before on Chipperfields, Dina, Mable and Dalia.

    If I understood right, traces of some of them pass ringling wuropean tour 1964-1965 and then leads to Trolle Rhodins zoo circus and touring in Finland. With an eventual selling to america, however unconfirmed?

    Now, during the sixties, Kolmarden Zoo in Sweden bought four ex-circus elephants. So far some of them have been labelled as coming from Circus Knie in Switzerland, but with question marks, and at least two, possible more, seem to have arrived together with elephant trainer Franz Tisch, who worked in Kolmarden until he started in Copenhagen in 1970.

    Their names was Dinah, Maibel, Delhi, Donkey and Chocolate (also named Tilly, she went to US, is mother of Pat Zerbinis bull Luke). Three of them later (1970) was transfered to Denmark.

    You can see them here: http://www.elephant.se/location2.php?location_id=23&show=6

    I think names Dina and Maibel gives an indication that theres a connection here, and at least Dinah and Donkey I should be able to get pictures from. I personally worked Donkey in riding operation during season of 2000.

    Peter, would you be able to indentify Dina from a picture?

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  50. Thanks to Buckles mentioning Suzie (another spelling than Suzy above) I came over a possible duplicate in the database namely

    http://www.elephant.se/database2.php?elephant_id=1117

    and

    http://www.elephant.se/database2.php?elephant_id=4686

    Both of them transfered from Willam Althoff to Ringling 68-69 indicates this is the one and the same elephant?

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  51. Dan,
    This is a fantastic lead for the origins of the Chipperfield/Ringling elephants. Using your lead, I referenced the European Studbook for the following information:

    - Chocolate (SB 6317). Birth ~1963. Kolmarden 1963. Unknown 12/09/1980 Lost to Follow-up.
    - Delhi (SB 7312). Birth ~1969. Givskud 10/15/1973. Death 09/16/2004.
    - Dinah (SB 7007). Birth ~1946. Copenhagen 07/08/1970. Death 06/06/1984 Euthanasia.
    - Donkey (SB 6701). Birth ~1965. Kolmarden 1967. Death 05/26/2003 Euthanasia.
    - Majbel (SB 3804). Birth ~1938. Givskud 06/15/1970. Death 07/29/1987 Digestive.

    It is interesting to note the lack of history for these animals prior to their Dutch or Swedish zoo locations - no mention of "Unknown" or generic "Circus" locations, or even their time spent at the Kolmarden Zoo. Are your records at Elephant.se based on Kolmarden zoo records? Interesting they have not been included into these Studbook records.

    Elephant.se lists Maybel, Dinah and Delhi as former residents of Circus Knie. As you stated, Maybel and Dinah have names indicating a connection, but I believe Delhi does as well (similar to Dahlia). These three would add to the five that came to America in 1968, making our total of eight elephants sold to Ringling in 1963 from the Chipperfield family.

    The Studbook's Majbel and Dinah have estimated birth dates that further strengthen a Chipperfield argument (1938 and 1946, respectively). Delhi, however, does not. If Delhi was in fact born in 1969 as listed, this would have made her four for her arrival in Denmark. It would be very difficult to mistake a 24 year old elephant for a four year old! Donkey and Chocolate are out of the question, both two years or younger upon their arrival to Kolmarden in the mid-1960s.

    The key to this mystery for these animals in current focus is to discover a connection between Franz Tisch and these Kolmarden ex-circus elephants. Bulletproof evidence is what we need!

    The Suzy / Susi elephants are definitely duplicates. I believe this error originated from the North American Regional Studbook for the Asian Elephant, which lists the following information:

    - Suzy (SB 114). Birth ~1925. Chipperfield Circus ???. Ringling Brothers ~1968 Lost to Follow-up.
    - Susi (SB T2284). Birth ???. Circus Williams ???. Ringling Brothers ~1969 Lost to Follow-up.

    There was only one animal by this name brought in the shipment of 17 elephants from Germany. I will make the proper changes to the Elephant.se records with the information supplied by Mr. Woodcock and gathered here in this forum.

    Backtracking to earlier discussions, it seems safe to say Ruth was not one of these 12 elephants pictured in 1956 Ireland. Jane probably became Jenny.

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  52. As far as i know,they never hired them out in 63 or 64,other wise my father would of told me about this,they sold all the herd to Ringling in the states after the last season,and my father took them over to the states to Ringling.

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  53. Henry SchroerNovember 14, 2011

    Hi Ryan,
    I was on Ringling until 1983 and Susie was still there when I left. After that she would have gone to Orlando where the Ringling breeding compound and retirement for elephants was.

    I started in 1967 with Williams in Italy when they where traveling as Circo de Berlino. When we where loading the animals on to the boat a railroad car was pushed next to our ones and inside where the 5 elephants. Cheta, Rani, May, Susie and Jenny. The Trainer, I only known him by his last name, was Weise. I think he just came back from a engagement in Poland.

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  54. Ryan,
    Mr. Herriott spoke of just the animal acts being involved in the Circus Williams deal. This was all new to me as that wasn't what's found in the writings. I want to say Gunther's book "UNTAMED" covers this quite well. I need to go back and look at it again. 1969 was the first year Mr. Herriott was on RBBB as Mr. Feld had just bought the three elephants and the pony act that the Herriott's had been performing the last 5 years at Circus World Museum.
    So you see, we have written history vs. what is first hand recollections and now the wondering begins as to how did this all come about ---- ACCURATELY!
    The life of a historian.
    Take care my friend,
    Bob

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  55. Henry and others, I looked around and found comments by swedish circus historican Johan Vinberg, after I uploaded this photo http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/225489_10150160055472076_634492075_6796352_1106060_n.jp from Sweden taken in late sixties .

    He name the trainer´s full name; Charly Weiser.

    According to Vinberg, )confirming what you wrote) The europe tour was 1963-64 and later on Trolle Rhodin's Caravan in 1964. After this Poland until 1967-68 when they were shipped to USA.

    So far I had only Suzy listed on Trolles circus http://www.elephant.se/location2.php?location_id=71&show=6

    Trolle passad away in 1997, but his book just was launched, as far as I know only in Swedish, havnt read it, but I guess it may give more facts to this topic.

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  56. From Bandwagon, Vol 13 No 1, Jan/Feb 1969:

    "Already the wagons used by Ringling's Barnum & Bailey in Europe a few seasons ago were due to arrive at a Florida port for use on the new show. Five elephants also would be brought back to join those coming from the Circus Williams.

    The Circus Williams animals and personnel embarked from Bremerhaven, Germany, aboard the Atlantic Saga for what was described in Germany as a five-year tour of the U.S. On this side, the ship arrived in New York and the acts and animals were transported to Venice.

    At Venice the makings the Red and Blue troupes converged on quarters, where the European wagons, Rock Island and New York Central railroad cars, and personnel were waiting. The traffic and the chores were so great that the quarters were closed to the public. On December 5 rehearsals began for the Big Red One. It was to open January 6."

    http://www.circushistory.org/Bandwagon/bw-1969Jan.htm

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  57. From the obituary of Ivor Rosaire, 01/23/2006:

    "Chipperfield’s Circus was at that time emerging as one of the three largest travelling shows in Britain, and was enlarging its group of animals, with 20 elephants being imported from Ceylon. Ivor was approached to join this enterprise, and ended up taking a group of four young elephants to the Christmas Circus at Bingley Hall, Birmingham in 1948/49 for the impresario Stanley V Parkin.

    He went on to present elephants for Chipperfield in Germany, Sweden and Holland before being entrusted with the presentation of a far larger group at Chipperfield’s own show, where he also introduced the novelty act of a fierce Bengal tiger riding on the back of full-grown Asiatic elephant. He had ten of Chipperfield’s elephants in London with Tom Arnold’s Circus at Haringey Arena in 1950 and returned with 17 in 1954, after which he left the Chipperfields to join another long established British circus, Sir Robert Fossett’s. He went on to present a group of five talented pachyderms at this show for some years, also appearing at winter engagements in Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall, Liverpool Stadium and Belle Vue Manchester, as well as three times for Bertram Mills Circus at Olympia, London. In 1963/64, he was touring in Europe with The Greatest Show on Earth, the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus from America, with the same group of five elephants.

    He joined the Jimmy Chipperfield organisation to work at one of his numerous safari parks, Knowsley, where his expertise with elephants made him a much valued elephant superintendent. His last appearance in the circus ring was for Mary Chipperfield at Glasgow and Clapham Common, London, showing horses and a group of African elephants, the only occasion on which he presented other than Asiatic ones."

    http://www.thestage.co.uk/features/feature.php/11307

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  58. From "History of Circus Williams 1960-1968:"

    "From 1962 until 1966 the circus toured with the Spanish circus owners Castilla and Feijo as “Spanischer National-Circus” (Spanish National Circus). The show featured excellent artistic acts, as well as exquisite animal acts and was awarded with the "Circus Oscar" in 1962 by the “Fédération Internationale du Cirque” as the world's best program.

    Carola Williams toured in the winter of 1967 with the Italian circus family Togni as Circo di Berlino in Italy. Starting in 1967 the circus traveled under the name “Circus Williams” again.

    Following the 1968 season, the entire animal acts were leased out to Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey and left Hamburg, Germany on November 3rd 1968 on the Swedish ship “Atlantic Saga” for America. Jeanette Williams, her cousin Henry Schroer and Günther Gebel-Williams left Germany towards the New World along with 17 elephants, 9 tigers, 25 horses and 30 other artists and workers.

    Circus Williams stopped its operations in Germany and Western Germany lost one of its leading circus shows.

    The Williams material laid the foundation for Ringling’s Red Unit which successfully toured the entire United States. Günther Gebel-Williams achieved superstar status with his spectacular animal acts in the USA. The initial five year contract was extended by another five years and eventually became open-ended.

    The name Williams reappeared in 1976 when Franz Althoff, a nephew of Carola Williams, started his own Circus Williams-Althoff. The circus stopped operations in 1996 and travelled as "Zauberwald", a horse musical, for a couple of years."

    http://www.circus-williams.de/history3.html

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  59. Dieter WichertNovember 14, 2011

    Ryan, the only guy that came with the 5 elephants was a handler named Hans Schmitt and he was one of the BIGGEST drunks I can remember, his nose turned red and purple almost daily. We left Bremerhafen in November, had to go around a huge storm on the Atlantic coming here and arrived in Newark, NJ I believe the end of Nov 1968 ... boat ride was 10-14 days and a swedish container ship called Atlantic Saga ... she has been retired by now for many years.

    Once I finish writing the book there will be more info, but that will take a while.

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  60. I wish I had found the obituary for Ivor Rosaire earlier. It would have eliminated a lot of theorizing and should have been an early lead, since his name was mentioned in Jim Stockley's first comment. Regardless, here are more numbers to add with Jim's for a timeline construction:

    - 20 elephants imported from Ceylon
    - 4 young elephant presented for Rosaire at Christmas Circus at Bingley Hall, Birmingham in 1948/49
    - 10 elephants presented by Rosaire with Tom Arnold’s Circus at Haringey Arena, London, in 1950, followed by 17 in 1954

    Most importantly, we have found the identity of the other elephant act hired by John Ringling North for the Ringling European Tour. Ivor Rosaire brought five elephants he had previously worked on Sir Robert Fossett's Circus in Ireland.

    Elephant.se is unclear as to which elephants the Irish show owned at this time, though it is possible a reunion occurred if the former Chipperfield elephants Jimmy, Blackie and Shandra were included (sold to Fossett in 1956). Small world!

    The "History of Circus Williams" information clears up another misconception regarding the German show. It is often referred to as Circus Althoff-Williams, including the North American Regional Studbook for the Asian Elephant. This is incorrect. Circus Williams, once it arrived in America in November 1968, did not return to Europe. "The name Williams reappeared in 1976 when Franz Althoff, a nephew of Carola Williams, started his own Circus Williams-Althoff."

    Thank you Dieter for the additional anecdotes. It is fantastic to correspond with handlers that have firsthand knowledge of these animals and were responsible for their daily husbandry and training. Referencing Sabu Moreau's records, it seems Hans Schmidt only lasted two seasons with the Red Unit. He is only included in the 1969 and 1970 years, gone by 1971.

    One more note I have found regarding the Chipperfield import, from "London Elephants:"

    "In October 1947 20 baby elephants arrived from Ceylon on SS Arbratus and were unloaded at the George V Dock. They were destined for Tom Arnold's Christmas Circus in Harringay."

    http://www.london-footprints.co.uk/artelephants.htm

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  61. Buckles WoodcockNovember 14, 2011

    Regarding the previous discussion about the Gold Unit name for the European tour:

    "I remember back in 1978 when talk of a third Ringling Unit became a reality and when a newspaper reporter asked Irvin Feld if the new show would be called the White Unit (Red, White and Blue would be a natural assumption).

    Mr. Feld indignantly replied, "Never! White means surrender."

    As it turned out, it was called Monte Carlo for obvious reasons but the term "Gold Unit" came into play to distinguish it from a Chevrolet car show.

    In the years since it has eventually been applied to the Ringling Fair Unit, Kaliedoscape, Home Town, etc. and in general regarded as the kiss of death.

    I would say the White Flag of Surrender might have been appropriate from the beginning."

    http://bucklesw.blogspot.com/2007/12/bullens-circus-7.html

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  62. Late in the night, seing elephants for my eyes, I try to make a break down:

    1947: There were no elephants in circus in England after World War II so Dick Chipperfield went to Sri Lanka in 1947 and bought 9 elephants.5 months later, Dick Chipperfield went back to Sri Lanka and bought another 12 elephants and that 9 + 12 made up 21 elephants.
    1948: 21 elephants at Tom Arnold show at Harringay (London) in 1948.
    1948: In the winter of 1948, Rosie Chipperfield (wife of Jimmy) went to Sri Lanka and brought back another 8 elephants (including two bulls)
    1949: 29 elephants.
    1951: 5 of the biggest elephants were sold to the Government of Borneo in 1951.
    1952: 24 elephants.
    Between 1952 and 1953, 8 elephants left the circus: 3 elephants (2 bulls + 1 cow) went to Fossett’s in Ireland. These 3 + 2 bull elephants were sold to Russia via Chipperfields. They were the act originally known as the "Banda 5" (aka "Band of five" = males Banda, Shandra & Blackie = females May & Jane - male Jimmy later replaced Jane), which Ivor Rosaire worked on Circus Mikkerni (sp?) in Holland and other shows in Sweden, Germany and Belgium in the early 1950s.
    Paulo’s Circus bought one called Baby, which went onto Robert Brothers and eventually died in Ireland . Two others died.
    1953: Chipperfields Circus ousted rivals Bertram Mills and Billy Smart and boasted a big-top tent which could accommodate 6,000 people. It had a collection of 200 horses, 16 elephants and 200 other animals.
    1953-1956: another 3 elephants left the circus?
    1956: Chipperfield toured Ireland with 12 elephants pictured at Clonmel railway station, Co.Tipperary. (Mabel became unaccountably lame when touring Ireland. Sent home to winterquarters in Stockbridge, reducing the group to 12.)
    1963: The elephant Mary was used in Rome, in the film Cleopatra, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz..
    1963-08-24: 8 elephants went on RBBB european tour: Cita, Rani, May, Suzie, Jennie, Dina, Dalia, and Mable.
    1963 September: Mary, Camella, Leilia and Sally were the 4 that stayed with the circus.
    1963: A new import of 5 elephants: Jane, Carol, Marjorie, Anna and Maryann.(Maryann was re-named Dorothy)
    1964-05-12: 8 elephants went on tour with Trolle Rhodins Circus Caravan in Scandinavia: Cita, Rani, May, Suzie, Jennie, Dina, Dalia, and Mable.
    1965-1967: Chipperfields Circus toured Southern Africa, and returned to the UK 1968.
    5 elephants from this tour was sold to zoos in South Africa, among them Dorothy/Maryanne, who was 1984 sold back to Brian Boswell Circus, Anna and Marjorie were both sold to Vereeniging zoo, and Carol and Jane were both sold to Springs Zoo.
    1968: Picture with four elephants returning from a Chipperfields Circus tour of South Africa. Left to Right: Sally, Lelia, Mary and Camella in the sling. The man with stick is John L Chipperfield..
    1967?: three older elephants sold: Dina, Dalia, and Mable?
    1968 in November: 5 elephants sold to Ringlings in USA, were shipped from Hamburg: Cita, Rani, May, Suzie and Jennie.
    1969: Old Camella died.
    1969-1971: A new juveniel elephant bought, named Camella.
    1972: A new group of small elephant arrived from Bangalore: Mohini, Minoti and Manju.
    1973: A new import, bought from Brian Williams at Tysely Pet Stores: Lechmee, Mina (Meena), Lisa, Sophie.
    1975: Young Camella joined Letchme, Meena, Sophie, Lisa as a group of 5 that Doreen Duggan took to Elfi Altoff in Austria in 1975.
    1979: Manju, Mohini, Minoti were sold to Ashtons in Australia April 1979 but never made it because the ship made landfall in Durban and voided the veterinary requirements. (Minoti is now living at Brian Boswell circus).
    1994-1999: Camella, Letchme, Meena went to America with Graham Thomas Chipperfield.
    After 1999: The last elephants Camella, Letchme and Meena were sold to Circus Medrano (Cirque Medrano) in Spain.

    In the listing above I miss Doris, and now I can not find source for this elephant..
    And then we have Chipperfields first elephant Rosie, which was sold to a british Zoo?

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  63. I think I was unclear, my listing is merely a possible scenario, and it may be wrong and I may have calculated wrong. So I hope I get corrected.

    Also I miss the asian elephants Manju and Mohinis last locations, I have them filed as unknown locations, leaving Chipperfield in 1979.

    Im trying to get more information on the elephants Dina, Delhi and Maibel, arriving Kolmarden Zoo apr 1967.

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  64. From Jamie Clubb's "The Legend of Salt and Sauce," 11/15/2011:

    Ivor Rosaire: Hero of "The Legend of Salt and Sauce"

    Ryan "Radar" Easley said...
    Jamie,
    This is very interesting. Thank you for your first hand account from Mr. Rosaire. I just learned yesterday that the five elephants Rosaire worked on Robert Fossett he later took for Ringling's European Tour in 1963-1964. Do you or your father know more about this exchange or the identity of the elephants?

    Jamie Clubb said...
    Dad says: RBBB never bought the elephants. They were only hired in. They were sold to Enis Togni, the father of Flavio Togni. They were rented out to Circus Rancy in France, where the elephant Cichita killed Danny Renz, the boss of the show. The lead elephant Carla was still with Tognis when they joined RBBB in the USA. This was '89/90, when we had our mixed group presented by the Palacios there.

    http://jamieclubb.blogspot.com/2007/12/ivor-rosaire-hero-of-legend-of-salt-and.html

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  65. Hello Ryan,
    The Ivor Rosaire elephants on Fossett's were five in number, they were quite a famous troupe in the fifties and sixties, from what I have been told as I never saw the act. They were booked out to the Ringling tour in the sixties and I believe they appeared at the Blackpool Tower Circus in 1967, this was the year that Julius and Brenda Hani joined Fossetts to work with their new group of young Asian elephants. From what I have been told the Rosaire troup became troublesome and unpredictable and this act was disbanded after the 1967 season, all know about them is that one of them lived to the age of sixty on the Austrian National Circus,Ivor Rosaire later went to work at Knowsley Safari Park as elephant keeper, regarding the Ringling tour I recall an interesting story about this, Don Stacey, many years circus correspondant for the newspaper World's Fair was working on Ringling's that year of the European tour in the accounts department, going through the records one day he noticed that Fossetts had never cashed their cheque in payment for the elephant act. He contacted Miss Mary Fossett about this and she said don't worry about it, I must have mis placed it, it will turn up one day, Mr. Stacey offered to send a replacememt cheque but Miss Mary said that would not be necessary, don't worry about it. This cheque was never cashed, and it was for £30,000, a fortune in those days!

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  66. More about Ivor Rosaire here: http://www.thestage.co.uk/features/feature.php/11307

    jamie, its interesting you mentioned the lead elephant Carla, and that she was on the RBBB tour 89/90. She must have been very old on that tour, becasue when I worked as bullhand on Circus Scott tour 1977 with 9 elephants from Circo Americano/Flavio Togni, there was a lead elephant Carla. Standing far left. She had a speciality of pulling up her chains from the floor, thats all i remember.

    If its the same Carla that was on Circis Americano, she must have been very old in 90, do you have any estimation of her birth year?

    I listed the Flavio Tognis elephants here: http://www.elephant.se/location2.php?location_id=806&show=6

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  67. Hi Dan,

    That was my dad replying. He uses my account. He says:

    I estimate she was born 1949/50. Jack Smith the father of Emile Smith, who works for me, originally trained her along with Bailey Fossett. Chicita, the elephant that killed Danny Renz, injured a groom in the train when she was still a baby.

    Jim Clubb

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  68. Photographs of Chipperfields Circus in September 1956 in Tralee, Ireland.

    http://www.kennellyarchive.com/search/?search=chipperfield

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  69. For Dan: a small correction to your November 15th comment:
    "After 1999: The last elephants Camella, Letchme and Meena were sold to Circus Medrano (Cirque Medrano) in Spain."

    The Cirque Medrano (owner Raoul Gibault) is based in France. They toured in Spain for a few weeks a couple of years ago.

    There is also a Circo Medrano (Casartelli Family) in Italy. They have 0.2 Asian (India and Burma) and 0.1 African (Wamba). They also own a safari park in the South of Italy where they have an other group of Elephants.

    Also concerning the Circo Americano (Enis Togni) they actually own 0.6 Asians (Togni, Mosley,Babati, Burma, Jumbo and Siam). Ceasare Togni own 0.3 Asians (Rebecca, Gita and Vicky).

    For Ryan: more on Karla in a few days (will visit the Circo Americano in December).

    Vincent Manero

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  70. Carlos MacmanusNovember 21, 2011

    hi yes you are correct about baby being bought by my grand mother and was trained by my uncle to work with a great dane dog and a llama and pony when my grmother sold up the elephant was sold to robertbrothers circus who could not get on with her and sold her to a mr sharp of sharps toffees who engaged gordon howes to work her and they went to ireland and dureing the season she was poisened. i dont recall any dates for you hope this helps carlos

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  71. In 1951 the Chipperfields sold five of their largest elephants to the government of Borneo. A greater amount of information regarding this sale and the becomings of the five Chipperfield elephants is discussed in the article "Origin of the Elephants, Elephas maximus l., of Borneo" by Earl of Cranbrook, J. Payne and Charles M.U. Leh.

    This group of elephants, aged 11-17 years , was purchased by Borneo Company Ltd. for the purpose of resuming the country's logging industry following the aftermath of World War II. Post-war reconstruction prohibited the export of the burden animals from India, Burma and Thailand, prompting the purchase of the English animals. The exact arrival of the Chipperfield animals is unknown, though they were five of the 29 purchased from Sri Lanka between 1948 - 1949 by the Chipperfield family during three separate trips to the Asian country. A three month journey transported the animals from England to Borneo. A difficult unloading event, without the proper equipment, destined these animals for the banks of Sarikei. However, the spooked animals made for the opposite side and became stuck in the muck.

    The five Chipperfield elephants all survived the trip and unloading disaster and began their logging industry employment. From the 1950s to 1960s, the herd grew in numbers up to 22 individuals in the first several years and regressed back down to five elephants in 1966. Four years after the five England imports arrived, four of the 22 elephants died from "undiagnosed illness." Only eight were alive and working five years later in 1960. Another six years would witness the loss of three more animals. A 1966 count found some of the remaining five elephants were still of Chipperfield origin.

    During this time frame of additions and deaths, the Chipperfield elephants would work in cooperation with other imported elephants from other countries of unknown origins. Other regions of the Malaysia area were able to import elephants from Thailand in the same time period, though after five deaths in less than as many years prompted the return of the remaining five animals to their native country. The Chipperfield group with its additions worked in such places as the middle Rejang, Kong Thai, Lee Seng Thai and Sungei Merirai. Their arrival aided many groups, including the Iban, to learn the skills of elephant management necessary for harvesting the desired products, such as the tropical hardwood Ramin from the peat swamp rainforests of Borneo.

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  72. Carlos,
    If you could help me, I have another question about your family's show. I found some information that states the original Paulo's was closed in 1949. In 1983, the new Paulo's Circus was founded. Do you think the elephant Baby that was purchased from the Chipperfield's was owned before the show's closure in 1949, and was subsequently sold following the closure? Thanks for the help.

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  73. Carlos MacmanusNovember 23, 2011

    hi baby was not bought from the chipperfields she was bought from the importerin 46 and my grand mother owned her until she sold the show in 1950, she was sold to the roberts family who never got on with her, she was then sold to a mr sharps of sharps toffe fame (i believe) who then employed gordon howes to work her on contract to fossetts circus in ireland where she was mysteriously poisened and that is the only info i have on her in my archives i have a photo of her being loaded on the ship going to finland for contract with circus mikenie who booked in gran's full programme my uncle ken is seen standing on her back in the air dangling from the crane, hope this info helps cheers carlos

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  74. Consulting Pamela Macgregor-Morris' book "Chipperfield's Circus," published in 1957, I have compiled a lot of detailed information about the acquisition of the first 19 elephants by Dick Chipperfield with a few other notes as well.

    Dick Chipperfield's first trip:
    - On 12/13/1946, Dick Chipperfield left for England, stopping for animal purchases in Malta, Cairo, Iraq, Karachi, Bombay and Madras before arriving in Colombo
    - With the help of the owner of Kamala's Circus, Chipperfield toured outlying villages to find elephants and bargain for purchases
    - First elephant was purchased and named Kamala in respect.
    - Mary and 5 year old Dahlia purchased next. Dahlia was still being trained by Mary, chained to her while working on a rubber plantation.
    - Total purchases ended with seven medium-sized cows and a small cow named Sally
    - Sally identified by a large bump in the middle of her forehead, considered extremely lucky. She became very sickly when first arriving in England, not eating and wasting way. Eventually recovered, becoming "smallest of the herd, the cheekiest and extremely jealous by nature."
    - Elephants traveled 15 miles a night for the 60 mile trek to Colombo. Each was ridden by a native boy on the neck with a bell tied, fed coconut leaves and taken to the river for a daily swim.
    - Eight elephants (all previous working animals) transported from Colombo to Tilbury by Captain Newton of the Trevlor. Captain Newton had shipped elephants before, though never as many as for Chipperfield.
    - Price of elephants had shot sky-high for US zoos were replenishing their stock.
    - Two other elephants (one bull) transported as well, sold from a Chinese circus to an English circus. Dick tried to buy the bull with the intention of having it shot to prevent the trouble it was expected to cause. He was unsuccessful.
    - Animals lined on the aft deck, chained by a fore and hind foot. Elephants became sole charge of mahout called De Soysa from Portuguese Indonesia. De Soysa stayed with the show for three years.
    - The five week journey arrived on March 3, the elephants unloaded by derrick with a stout net underneath the stomach.
    - One of the most famous Continental trainers arrived to continue their training and present them. End of first real lesson all could put front feet on pedestals and taught to lift their trunks. Already could lie down, back, come here, foot up, pick up something and push.

    Dick Chipperfield's second trip:
    - Dick returned to Ceylon in August because of Tom Arnold's planned big circus at Harringay Avenue in London in opposition to the established Bertram Mills show at Olympia. 20 elephants requested.
    - Because of the monsoon season and terrible floods, he only had 12 days to collect 12 elephants.
    - Helped by superintendent of Colombo Zoo, Major Weinmann, in return for lions, bears and Shetland ponies bred by the Chipperfields at winter quarters.
    - Bought all the good elephants he could find, including three or four government confiscations from poachers.
    - One was 6 months old orphan found wandering by natives. It died during first day at sea; only loss of the 20 from two trips.
    - After ten days in the jungle, two males and ten female elephants collected.
    - Animals transported via the Adastrus. Docked at Tilbury, 19 elephants lined up in a row inside a hanger on the aerodrome opposite Down Farm, the greatest number under the same ownership on an English circus.
    - They went to Harringay for five years running, then to Kelvin Hall, Glasgow for three seasons. One carried tiger on its back.

    Rosie Chipperfield's trip:
    - Rosie went to Ceylon on her own and brought back nine elephants

    Additional information:
    - One named Anna
    - Mabel became unaccountably lame when touring Ireland. Sent home to winter quarters in Stockbridge.
    - 12 elephants to Ireland in 1956
    - At book publishing, three elephants with Circus Scott in Sweden

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  75. Very little information to be found regarding the elephants and their import in Jimmy Chipperfield's book, "My Wild Life," published in 1975.

    It is stated that Dicky left for Ceylon in December 1946, cabling several weeks later on his way home that nine elephants had been purchased. In 1976, three of those original nine were still working with their importer. The book states two pages later that a second visit was set up in winter 1947, in which Rosie left for Ceylon. She returned with 11 elephants, making 20 altogether.

    Both of these pieces of information have contradictory statements when compared with other sources of information.

    According to the Macgregor-Morris book, only eight elephants were purchased during Dick Chipperfield's first trip to Ceylon. It also states, along with other sources, that Dick made the second trip and Rosie the third. In addition, with the eight elephants he originally purchased, Dick sought and achieved the return of 12 elephants for the 20 altogether. One died on the ship returning home, making 19 altogether.

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  76. I made a grand slam of a discovery today on Thanksgiving - two videos of the Chipperfield elephants at Harringay Arena, London, in December

    1947 for Tom Arnold's Circus. In the first, the elephants march in line with name cards strung to their sides. The second video features clips of the elephant act. Several names can be added to our list with this finding - Rosie, Anna and Margie. Dinah, Blackie, Jimmy, Mabel and Sally are also videoed with their name placards.

    A photograph I have found pictures Mae West with "Blackie, a baby elephant of the Harringay Circus." Another video describes Kamala as nine years old in September 1950.

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  77. You wrote: At book publishing, three elephants with Circus Scott in Sweden.

    I wonder if this also indicating three elephants were sold to Kolmarden. Because during this time, Franz Tisch was turing with Scott...

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  78. Regarding "Two other elephants (one bull) transported as well, sold from a Chinese circus to an English circus.", in mail from Jamie in 2009, this was Big Charley >> http://www.elephant.se/database2.php?elephant_id=4643

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  79. Vince, Thank you for the additional information. I am sorry for the late publication of your comment; it just appeared in my inbox today. It is funny you should mention the Ceseare Togni elephants. I have learned more of their history over the weekend from the mn that delivered them to and trained them for Gerry Cottled, who later sold them to Togni. I will post more about these animals at a later time in a separate post. I look forward to anything else you have to share!

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  80. Via BigTopBooks.co.uk, I purchased Dick Chipperfield's book "My Friends the Animals," published in 1963. Some new information is discovered, including descriptions of certain elephants' personalities, but further contradicting statements are found against other written and verbal accounts.

    - First elephant, when Dick was 24, was not a good circus elephant; later sold to Chessington Zoo (Dan, I believe this would be the Rosie you mentioned)
    - On 12/13/1946, left from Poole Airport in a York transport train to Ceylon. Met with a circus proprietor on Christmas Eve in Ratnapura, 60 miles from Colombo. (Dan, this town is in Sri Lanka, not India. We had privately discussed the possibility that Dick had acquired the first three elephants in India)
    - The first elephant, a "very good one," was purchased from this circus. She was subsequently named Kamala after the show
    - Show people helped to acquire a "couple more" elephants. They allowed them to be kept at the show while Dick searched for more. When the circus moved, he stayed and traveled from village to village
    - Much discussion about the "Lucky Elephant," Sally. Because she could not be sold, her owner sold Dick another at a very high price and included Sally for free
    - Animals traveled 60 miles to Colombo, 15 miles each night, each with a rider as required by law and four men on the ground with lanterns. Dick rode ahead by car
    - Made the five week journey home on the Trevalore with Captain Newton
    - Elephant boy de Soysa cared for the elephants, including Sally who nearly died
    - A large tusker "Kya Lee" was also onboard, accompanied by Ibrahim. He was being delivered to "Cody Sahib"
    - Five months after returning to England, Dick left again for Ceylon to acquire enough elephants for 20 at Tom Arnold's Christmas Circus at Harringay Arena in London
    - 13 elephants were purchased. The 13th was a "little sickly orphan" who died the second day at sea
    - Dick's sister-in-law also later traveled to Ceylon and purchased eight more elephants
    - 28 elephants appeared in the ring at one time, the greatest number for an England circus
    - Eight elephants described as the ones with the most individual personalities
    - Mary, the leader; completely tranquil and undisturbed
    - Dahlia, whom Mary was still leading when purchased; rather foolish, inclined to panic, but otherwise a quiet animal without vice
    - Number Two Kamala; trained to carry a tiger on her back. First class elephant and absolutely fearless
    - Susan, thick headed and stubborn; main fault is fighting with the herd and scarred many
    - Mabel, bit stubborn if she cannot see where she is going. Good, sound elephant
    - Leila, good but a squealer. Apt to be spoiled and fretful but works well in the ring
    - Ranee and Sita, who came together and have a "special friendship"
    - Lucky Sally, who disliked girls at first and cheeky with new grooms; very responsive but very spoiled
    - Incident in Birmingham mentioned in which one elephant knocked another over the ringcurb

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  81. Johan VinbergDecember 04, 2011

    Hello!

    Danne Koehl have asked me to fill in som facts about the elephants which was used at Ringling Europe winter tour 63-64.
    Trolles Rhodin Sr's memoars came out last springtime. Trolle's wife Ingeborg (sister to Axel Gautier) was a member of the show from the opning evening in Lille with her hig scool act. Trolle joined the show after new year with his liberty horses. He agreed with John Ringling North (who lived in Swiss because of tax-reasons) to rent the 8 elephants (bought from Chipperfield) after the too early Ringling-stop in Germany. The elephants arrived to Malmö in april 1964 and the German trainer Charly Weiser performed with them. BAnda Vidane was at the same time empolyed by Trolle (he came to Sweden from DDR 1961 together with Trolle's circus when they ended a winterseason in Barlay-building in East Berlin - same place where the revue theatre Friedrichstadt Palast is located today) and assisted Weiser with the elephants.

    As a result of the not successful Ringling-tour in Europe John Ringling North fired his general manager Art Concello and employed Trolle Rhodin as new artistic leader of the show (Concello was also - beside his job as artistic leader - technical manager, tour leader, etc).
    John ROngling North was not interesed to take over the eright elephants to US autumn 1964. THe finacial situation aftere the tour slop in Europ was weak. Insetad Trolle - with his good contacts in Poland, send the eight elephants to the state circus head quarter in Warzaw. They were then performing at the Polish state circus tenting shows as well rented to Hungary, Czechoslovakia and DDR.

    When Irvin & Israel Feld bought Ringlings 1967 from John Ringling North the elephanst in Poland was also included.
    At the same time Feld decided to create a seoncd toring unit - the red unit with William's 15-16 elephants as well the Chipperfield elephants. They were shipped out from Ostende together with ca 40 horses all arranged by Trolles Uncle Henning Moller (a Swedish carinval manager).

    Trolle doesn't mention if there was eight o five elephants which his uncle send away. Anyhow springtime 1968 three elephats came to Circus Scott's first city of Sweden-tour, Malmö.
    1962-1969 Scott presented Knie's animal acts.
    The elephants was presented by Toni Hochegger 1962,63,64,
    Ruppert Bermmel 1965-67 and 1970
    Louis Knie Sr 1969.
    However the elephants 1968 was not from Knie. This year Ruppert were with the elephants either in Blackpool or in the exhibiyioncentre of Geneva (Knie had a summershow there for some months).
    I have tried to find out which the three elephants at Scott beonged too. I have never got any sure answer. Scott'owner Madame Bronett died 20 years ago, her son Francois were in Los Angeles this year and not inwolved in that year show.
    I have heard names like Darix Togni as well Ferdiando Togni - but never confirmed.
    But why not - it could be possible Trolle and Feld rented out the three in Europe left Chipperfield elephants to Scott before they arrived to Kolmården. In Kolmården the former circus horse trainer Arne Lindberg were one of the maininspectors and good friend with Trolle since they both were children.

    One thing for sure with Scott 1968. Sascha Houcke Sr was presenting the Knie-horses and exotic group this year. His son Sacha Jr told me that the three elephants jad no trainer when they arrive to Malmo. A day before the opning show still no trainer and Madame Bronett asked Houcke to present the elepanhts too - of cours with a bonusfee. He accepted - even if he never was specially dound of elephants.
    I remember him in the ring with three asian elephants, I saw the show in Uppsala May 1968 as well Stockholm in augyst same year.

    Best Regards
    Johan Vinberg
    Swedish Circus Academy

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  82. Johan VinbergDecember 04, 2011

    Sorry!

    I was mentioned Ostende as harbour for the shipping of elephants 1968. It was Bremerhaven.

    Rgds
    Johan Vinberg

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  83. Johan, thanks for interesting comments, do you think there may be any pictures of those three elephants in your archive? I will soon have a good picture of Dinah, from the time in Copenhagen Zoo. There she was partially trunklame. Also, do you remember which years Franz Tisch toured with Scott? He later worked in Kolmarden, before taking Dinah with him to Copenhagen.

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  84. From the obituary of Rose Chipperfield:

    "The family regrouped after the war to rebuild the fortunes of Chipperfield’s Circus. The acquisition of nine elephants from Sri Lanka established them among the biggest circuses in England. They bought more animals to become the largest travelling circus in Europe in the fifties. Rose paid a solo trip to Sri Lanka, returning with nine more elephants, some leopards and a number of giant pythons."

    http://www.thestage.co.uk/features/feature.php/12097/rose-chipperfield

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  85. From "The Greatest Showman on Earth," Sports Illustrated, 09/26/1977

    As Gebel-Williams' fame spread, so did his horizons. John Ringling North was the first to approach him about transferring his animal acts to America, but the timing was wrong. "I was too young," Gunther says. "When Irvin Feld came, I was somebody."

    In the fall of 1968 Gebel-Williams flew to San Diego to see The Greatest Show on Earth for the first time. He remembers noticing how fat the elephants were, how they seemed to enjoy being inside the buildings and the train cars. It was good that nobody was skinny, he thought. Everybody was well fed. When GG-W returned to Germany, Schroer remembers him sitting down and thinking for a long time. Finally he stood up and said, "It is O.K. We go."

    Considering the fact that his right arm had been nearly ripped off by an angry tiger upon his return from California; that only half a dozen handlers plus his wife accompanied the 52 carnivores and pachyderms on their voyage; that the Swedish liner Atlantic Song took 14 days in heavy storms to reach the new world while GG-W was almost continuously seasick—considering all this, it was a. miracle that on the morning the ship was—berthed in New York, Gebel-Williams had recovered enough to smile resolutely and pose for pictures in the hold amid his bellowing animals while Feld choreographed a publicity picnic.

    "None of us believed it would happen," says John Herriott, a performance director and veteran trainer for Ringling Bros. "But there was the picture in all the newspapers. There was the famous Gunther Gebel-Williams and there were all the animals safe and sound. Feld had done it. Noah's Ark had arrived."

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1092866

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  86. Mark TwitchettDecember 11, 2011

    The two asian elephants, Moto (f) and Toto (m), from
    Colchester Zoo were sold to Circus Hoffman by the zoo's owner Frank Farrar. Here they joined another
    asian Nellie that came from Jimmy Chipperfield's
    Southampton Zoo and was trained by Charles Illeneb who had his own brown bear act with them in 1969. They were trained and presented as a group of three by Jeffrey Hoffman in, I think, 1972 but the following year there were just two
    until more youngsters were added in around '74.
    Mark Twitchett, Colchester, UK

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  87. Finally 2 pictures of Dina in Copenhagen during the seventies, see http://www.elephant.se/database2.php?elephant_id=1186

    Peter, do you think you can identify her?

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  88. Johan,
    I cannot thank you enough for your time and information shared! This is a great step forward into discovering the Ringling elephants' time in Europe during the 1960s.

    Mark,
    Thank you for the clarifying another European elephant mystery for us, Moto and Toto of the Colchester Zoo. I moved your comment to the thread dedicated to these two elephants and a few other related ones.

    >>http://showmeelephants.blogspot.com/2011/09/safari-zoo-moto-and-toto.html

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  89. 1965 is my earliest memory seeing ROBERT BROTHERS CIRCUS. I think this was the year the local council would not allow elephants but a baby was led around the ring.
    1966 SIR ROBERT FOSSETT` CIRCUS with 4 baby elephants.
    1967 BILLY SMARTS CIRCUS. I missed the elephant parade on the Sunday 15 magnificent elephants, 8 very large and 7 smaller ones. They all had name plates. Birma,Mania,Olga,Peggy, Dolly,Susie and the smallest Gigi.
    1968 ROBERT BROTHERS. There were 5 elephants. I remember how many animals seemed crammed into the stable tents and some `stable` animals were housed in a beast wagon style lorry.
    1969 BILLY SMARTS 13 elephants. The parade was a real spectacle. I learned later on that Dolly was Kept at the winter quarters and was shot ( had killed/injured grooms? It was certainly kept quiet as far as the general public were aware. I an sure Illeneb also presented the elephants on the last of 2 performances I saw. 5 performed the main act joined by the other 8.`on safari`
    1969 I also saw CIRCUS HOFFMAN they only had 1 elephant in the zoo . I was winess to seeing the elephant taken for exercise led by its chains with 6/7 men surrounding it who were all hitting it for no apparent reason as it was walking along calmly. It then pannicked and got away from them dragging its chains. It was frightening for a boy to see unaccustomed to seeing anything like this. This was in daylight on a recreation ground. the next time I saw it it was chained up open air , no tent.
    1970 Chipperfields with Mary,Lelia and Sally
    1970 Circus Hoffman. There were now 2 elephants in a short routine, no harness etc.
    1970 Billy SMARTS CIRCUS with 13 elephants.
    1971 HOFFMANS with 5 male lions = 1 tiger and I think 3 elephants.
    Chipperfields 3 senior elephants plus 2 baby Africans in the which later died?, Dickie was with Ringlings with the leopards + 8 lionesses so there was the `new?`group of 6 tigers with Jean Michon and Tommy Chipperfield programmed as only being 16 with 5 lions.I saw the show at 3 locations that year.
    From 1971 my circus visiting increased as it was my main interest and as I never diaried anything I cannot tell you accurately of all of the visits but as this blog is about the elephants, I will share what I remember relating to each show.
    Billy SMARTS. I last saw their elephants on parade at Runneymead 1971, they looked in excellent condition and the parades gave them much needed exercise but cannot have been good for their feet. I had a press cutting showing the sale of 19 elephants to Ringlings 1972. This did not include BIRMA who I Saw with 4 younger elephants later on at WINDSOR SAFARI PARK including now LEGOLAND.I have often wondered why thet had all these extra animals , were they to add to the herd or to increase the herd?
    Billy wilson Smart had a 4 elephant act ( not original Smart elephants and John Gindl presented 4 elephants at Gerry COTTLE`S CIRCUS (1974 ?).
    Chipperfields 1973, watched the build up sure Jim Stocley was in a photo I had of John SNR leading Mary Lelia and Sally. He always seemed calm with animals. Then another 5 elephants were seen medium sized as above and then 3 baby elephants were in a beast wagon.BY 1974 11 were in the ring and did`t JIM STOCKLEY present them. I think after the 3 babies left Doreen duggan showed 8 1975?or 76? there was a big and little combination for a thames tv show and John snr with a good elephant.horse act. Mary died first then Sally and Lelia was was still there in 1980. The remaining 5 were final act until 2 died reportedly from eating plastic off their tent. The herd were also affected by a fire at one time.The last 3 brought the family into disrepute when they were shipped to HONG KONG in a metal container for the GERRY COTTLE.DICKIE CHIPPERFIELD show at Ocean Park and were refused entry, left in the terrible heat and then shipped back again to the UK ad then shipped back again. see abive entries re their later years. to be continued

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  90. Another important information was released yesterday, regarding one of the Kolmarden Zoos elephants Dina, Mable and Delhi;

    All three came from a (german??) circus, and Mable had problems with her right frontleg. She was seriously limping, and moved the leg and the foot in a curved movement for each step, and di not bnd the leg. According to elephant trainer Franz Tisch, she had an accident, on a railway station where she stepped between two railes or something, permanently damaging her right frontleg. On the circus she was not used in the show, but used as carrying working elephant.

    Since so much is refered to the Chipperfield Mabel above, that she had an accident and became lame in one of her legs, and sent to Southampton Zoo during the tour in Ireland, I see this is yet another indication that the Dinah, Mable and Delhi living in Kolmarden Zoo from 1967-1968, may actually be the same Dinah, Mabel, and Dahlia, mentioned above.

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  91. Through Peter Stolk in Netherlands, I learned that yet one more elephants has to be added to the Sri Lankan imports: Freda in Glasgow Zoo. http://www.elephant.se/database2.php?elephant_id=237

    According to a UK source Freda arrived Glasgow Zoopark in April 1948, gifted by Sir Frederick C. Stewart.

    (see also http://www.uapscotland.com/calderpark-zoo/)

    She was part of a 30 elephants import by Chipperfield in March 1948.

    Cause of death, in the spring of 1954, was a “serious gastric complaint”.

    (see also http://www.glasgowzoo.co.uk/articles/zoodetails/exannrep194772.php)

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  92. I had a conformation today that former Chipperfield elephants Dinah, Mable and Dahlia/Delhi, who went on Ringlings europe tour, and later on Trolle Rhodins Zoo Circus, wer the same three elephants that was kept in Kolmarden Zoo in Sweden, and later in Denmark. The source is former elephant keeper/trainer Hans Romlund, who worked on Ringlings europe tour and later in Kolmarden, and later in Givskude in Denmark.

    It has taken some time, but finally a first source could be located, confirming the three elephants are identical.

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  93. I just realized that Georgina Gebs named the five Rosaire elephants on Jamies blog at http://jamieclubb.blogspot.se/2007/12/ivor-rosaire-hero-of-legend-of-salt-and.html: Georgina wrote: "I felt a special bond with Carla, and was told that she was 16,which would have meant she was born 1940. she was certainly a very big girl. i took her harness off after the show.i was more wary with the others,they were Chikita, June, Nagra and Monica. It was Monica that appeared with Ivor on double your money and was the youngest."

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  94. Ivor Rosarie bought his first elephant Princess Monice in 1939. But Georgina Gebski writes: It was Monica that appeared with Ivor on double your money and was the youngest.

    This gives me the impression that this was two different Monicas, and that the younger Monica may be identical with the above mentioned, being sold to Russia? If this is so, that Monica shall not be counted into the three Chipperfields? (Unless she was imported by Chipperfields, and sold to Rosaire)

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  95. Hi my Dad is Oskar Hani, uncle deceased Julio Hani, cousin deceased Mario Hani and Aunty Brenda Hani. All elephant trainers who worked in numerous circuses. Please contact me and I can put you in touch with Brenda and my Dad. My mum was Marjorie Hani. Best wishes x

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  96. Hi my dad is Oskar Hani and my aunty is Brenda Hani. My uncle was Julio Hani and my cousin was Mario Hani. They were all elephant trainers. My mum was Marjorie Hani. If you would like to get more information then please contact me. They were in the circus in the uk and in Europe.

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I eagerly anticipate associating with new individuals with an interest or history in elephants, elephant history and elephant record keeping. If you have further information regarding the animals or locations questioned in the article, please leave a comment or message me in an effort to complete their records for elephant historians.