Flying Elephant

7 November 2012 by Sarah Starkey

Photograph of an elephant being moved from one ship to another

Transferring an elephant on the Irrawaddy River, Burma (MAL reference D/IR/Box3)

Now I could use this image to draw some metaphor with the American Republican party as their symbol is an elephant, but I’ve heard quite enough about that election, so I’ll just tell you a little bit about the photograph.

This lovely image is from an album held by the Maritime Archives & Library of photographs taken and collected by Captain H J Chubb who worked for the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company in Burma.  The company ran a fleet of vessels along the difficult waters of the Irrawaddy River until 1950 when its assets were transferred to the newly independent Burmese Government.

Amongst the many images of ships on the river, which of course we are very fond of, there are wonderful shots like this.  I have no idea why an elephant was being moved from one vessel to another, but this seems like a better way of doing it than trying to use the narrow gangplank.  I wonder if the second elephant was easy to catch?

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