Back in 1902 nobody worried whether or not something was politically correct or thought about animal rights as this excerpt from the New York Times shows
With roaring lions, snarling tigers, trumpeting elephants, docile antelopes, and chattering monkeys on board, besides a goodly assortment of nearly everything else that roams the fields, inhabits the air, swims the waters, or haunts the jungles, the Atlantic Transport liner Minneapolis, hired for the trip by Barnum Bailey circus, got in from Dunkirk, France, yesterday.
The trip was pleasant and freak, beast and fowl, with the single exception of a huge elephant, were in good condition when the ship reached the pier.
There had been death on board. Jesse, the champion peanut eater of the 54 monkeys, pined and would not eat. His body was cast overboard with great ceremony with “Zip the What Is It” saying the simian words for Rest in Peace.
Mandarin, the biggest of the 23 elephants was in a bad humour every day of the voyage but as he was angry for several days before he left France his misbehaviour could not be attributed to the voyage. He has been in the habit of “getting ugly” as his handler calls it, every few weeks. If he did not keep his temper under control he would probably be killed as Mr Bailey would not think of allowing an “ugly” animal to be led through the streets of New York.
image from On The Streets of New York
The other animals on board including 12 tigers, 5 lions, 6 hyenas, 4 leopards, 4 bears, 4 panthers, 1 hippopotamus, 2 giraffes, 4 kangaroos, 1 horned horse, 1 gnu, 3 deer, 1 tapir, 1 waterbok, 1 warthog, 1 orix, 4 antelope, 1 moufflon, 7 camels, 4 zebras, 1 real buffalo, 162 horses, 27 ponies, and 4 goats, besides birds and snakes, were on their good behaviour during the passage and Superintendent Hyatt is going to present to each a nice gold medal as a reward for their splendid deportment.
Of the freaks, “Zip the 70 year old What Is It” was the most popular of all on the way to America. Zip is reported to have never spoken a word of any known tongue and does not know whether New York is in Hackensack or New Rochelle. And yet Zip still said that he was very glad to get home. He also said that he would be two years old in December and was thinking of getting married but declined to give the name of his intended.
Wille Doss, the Human Telescope who can stretch himself nearly 18 inches, was standing beside one of the giraffes and created a great source of amusement when he stretched his neck 2 inches higher than the giraffe’s two peaky looking little ears. The giraffe was so mortified at being beaten in such a contest that he refused to eat any supper.