Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Nellie the Elephant and Mitchell Park

I had Ostrich Steak from Woolies for dinner last night.  If things had gone a little differently, it may have been locally sourced.  Mitchell Park, Durban started out as an Ostrich Farm in 1910.  It wasn't profitable, and so it became a zoo with some large animals - even lions and leopards! Today the largest animals housed in this local mini zoo are Giant Tortoises.

In preparing for the Trinkets and Treasures Thrift Sale on Saturday, I've pulled out a few bits of Durban Memorabilia.  This old photograph is labelled Nellie The Elephant.  
She was a very famous resident of the zoo. Allan Jackson, author of Facts about Durban wrote about this lady legend:

Over 20,000 children attend the birthday celebrations of Nellie the Elephant in Mitchell Park. Originally presented to the park by the Maharaja of Mysore in 1928, Nellie became a firm favourite with Durbanites and soon learned to play a mouth organ, crack coconuts and let children ride on her back. 

(Pop over to A History of Durban to read the sad turn of events in Nellie's Life in 1948.)

And if you are in Durban this Saturday morning, pop to the Thrift Sale at Spiga Courtyard.  This photo and some other Durban-related pics and postcardswill be on sale there too.
Referenced from here, here and here.

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