A royal elephant in Liverpool


January 18, 1893
The steamer Pegu, belonging to Messrs. Henderson Brothers, has just arrived from Rangoon, and part of her cargo consisted of four elephants, one of them a Royal tusker. It is doubtful if there is another to be found in Europe. They are seldom, it ever, allowed to leave the country.

The animal in question is a splendid creature, standing 5ft. high, and has a pair of wonderfully long tusks, considering the size of the animal. Really to look at it, it is exactly the same as seen in picture books, with a Prince riding on its back, but never seen alive in this country.

What makes the animal all the more valuable is that it has a pedigree. It came from Burmah, and belonged to the Rajah of Manipur, and both he and his family used to ride on it. No doubt it will be fresh in the minds of many that the rebellion broke out about two years ago, when Mr. Quentin was so cruelly murdered, and Mrs. Greenwood fled, and afterwards wrote a book about the whole affair.

This beautiful animal and its mother were seized by the Government, when Mr. William Cross, our Liverpool naturalist, hearing of this, cabled to his agent not to miss them, but to secure both the mother and young one if possible, which, in spite of great opposition, the agent at once set out to do, travelling a distance of 1,000 miles by foot and bullock carts when he purchased them from the Government and walked “Rajah” (this being the name of the young one) the whole of the way back.

The mother, unfortunately, fell into a large pit on the march, and was killed. “Rajah” and three companions, after a terrible voyage, have just been landed in good condition.

Quite a large number of people have been to see them, and already more than one of our American cousins across the Atlantic have made overtures to purchase “Rajah,” the latest offer being to exhibit him at the Chicago World’s Fair; but it seems a pity to allow such a rarity to leave our shores, and especially as the season is fast approaching.

It may be interesting to some to know that 180 sacks of rice and some hundreds of bundles of hay were put on board, which have all been consumed on the voyage. “Rajah” is quite tame, and a great pet with the children.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: January 18, 1893)

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