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Modern views of animals range from hunters who pay big money to go on safaris in Africa to vegans who refuse to use even the wool or milk from a fellow creature, and as is the case with most controversies, most people fall in the middle, not wanting to kick a dog but still enjoying a good steak. However, in the early 20th century, the standards were much different, with animals seen as strictly property to be gathered and used with little to no consideration about their health or feelings. It was into this world that a little elephant later called Jumbo was born. He quickly learned the harsh realities of life when his mother was killed by hunters before his first birthday. Then he himself was taken from his sunny home and transported thousands of miles to soggy London, where he was expected to spend his days on display or earning his very limited keep by carrying small children for rides on his back. While he was fed hay, dry grass that was at least some substitute for the fresh greenery of the African plains, he was also fed both beer and hard liquor, oysters, cakes and candy, a diet that would have severely shortened his life had not a terrible accident ended it first.
©2016 Charles River Editors (P)2017 Charles River Editors