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Maharajah the elephant

Not a dinosaur!

Skeleton of Maharajah the elephant

This is the skeleton of ‘Maharajah’, an Asian Elephant. He lived in a travelling circus before being sold at auction in Edinburgh in 1872. He and his keeper, Lorenzo Lawrence, walked the 200-odd miles from Edinburgh to Manchester’s Belle Vue Zoo in 10 days. Maharajah lived at Belle Vue for 10 years, dying at the age of 18. Maharajah’s skeleton was acquired by the Museum in 1945. Maharajah’s journey from Edinburgh is a unusual story, and he features in a painting called ‘The Disputed Toll’. In 2015, artist Oliver East recreated Maharajah and Lorenzo’s walk, covering the distance in the same number of days.

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