Packed his trunk, and said hello to the circus

Jumboroo in 1922

Jumboroo in 1922

Hello children. Are you sitting comfortably?

Today we will tell you the story of Jumboroo, Perth’s first elephant.

Mr Le Souef was sad. He owned a zoo. But he did not own an elephant.

What use was a zoo without an elephant? thought Mr Le Souef.

Mr Le Souef had a Government friend called John Scaddan, whom everyone called ‘Happy Jack’. In 1922 he was visiting Kuala Lumpur and noticed they had lots of elephants. So he asked his friend in the Government there if Perth Zoo could have one.

Kuala Lumpur said yes, and promised to send an elephant to Happy Jack as soon as possible.

So little Jumboroo was caught and placed on-board a ship bound for Fremantle.

On route, naughty Jumboroo fell through a hatch on the deck and tumbled six metres into the cargo below. After that he was held in tight chains for the rest of the journey, because he had been so wicked.

When he arrived at Robb’s Jetty, Jumboroo was scared of the big crowd there, and tried to get away. All the people said he was a very naughty elephant indeed.

Jumboroo was even more frightened when they used a crane to lift him onto a small ferry to take him to South Perth, where they wanted to show him off to all the little children. He made lots of noise, and the people thought the elephant must be evil.

When they finally dragged Jumboroo into the zoo, the little elephant was terrified of the roaring tigers. So Mr Le Souef said he would keep the wicked elephant in chains if he was not going to behave properly.

All the children came to see Jumboroo at Mr Le Souef’s lovely zoo. But the little elephant did not like it there, and he would not play with them.

The zoo people decided Jumboroo was racist, and only liked black people.* And they couldn’t have a racist animal in Perth Zoo, could they, children?

So Mr Le Souef sold Jumboroo to Perry’s Circus for fifty pounds.

And the naughty racist elephant went off to start his new life in the Eastern States as part of the circus entertainment, where we are sure he was very happy indeed.

Goodbye, Jumboroo.

* Actually they did not say “black people”. They said another word Dodgy Perth cannot use, even if Kanye West can.