The Elephant Who Walked to Manchester
David Barnaby

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ISBN Number: 0 946873 96 8
Number of Pages:
Publication Date:
August 1988
Basset Publications

Alexander Fairgrieve's famous travelling menagerie - 'Wombwell's Royal Number One' - was to close in 1872. All of the animals were to be sold by auction in Edinburgh.

An Asian elephant called Maharajah was purchased from the Edinburgh auction by the owners of Belle Vue Zoological Gardens. It was planned to send him by train to Manchester, but this plan was rapidly altered after he severely damaged a railway carriage. His keeper suggested that they should walk to Manchester, and this they did over the next ten days.

Subsequently the tale of the walk entered zoological folklore, suffering some alterations over time and being linked with several other incidents. In this book David Barnaby, a Manchester researcher, has carefully examined all the available evidence to try and separate fact from the fiction, and record what, at the very least, was a most interesting journey.

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