Futki in front of Government House, 1908 - 1912
Scope and Contents
87 x 75 mm. Showing the Indian elephant Futki with her mahout Shiek Munshi standing on the lawn in front of Government House. The arrival of Futki in Uganda was the result of Bell's attempt to introduce transport elephants into the Protectorate. Futki, aged 45, came from Jalpaiguri in NW Bengal and arrived at Entebbe on January 25 1909. The experiment proved unsuccessful however, Futki refusing to take part in any work apart from shikar duties for which she was trained and ceremonial parades which she enjoyed. On the first attempt to harness Futki she 'suddenly swelled out her belly and, with the sound of rifle shots, most of the fine new harness burst asunder in various places' (Bell 1946, p 198). On the second and final attempt to train her for mundane tasks, Futki ran amok with the wagon and succeeded in destroying it. The high cost of Futki's feed and the wages of her mahout ('a diminutive Bengalese of aggravating appearance, and to whom I have already taken an unreasoning dislike', (Bell 1946, p 197)), together with the introduction of motorised transport eventually led to her being sold, and on March 8 1910 she boarded the S.S. Herzog en route to Hamburg Zoo. Her ultimate fate is not known.
- 1908 - 1912
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Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
DateText: The date is approximate..
Finding aid date
- From the Fonds: Bell, Sir (Henry Hesketh Joudou, 1864-1952, Knight, colonial governor) (Person)
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