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This Royal Indian elephant was owned by Tom Arnold's Circus and was very popular with audiences. The elephant's trainer was called Sabu and was a well known actor from Karapur in India, who had stared in films such as 'The Drum' and 'The Thief of Bagdad'. Sabu, whose real name is thought to be Seler Shaik Sabu, was just 13 years old and the son of an elephant driver when he was cast in the film 'Elephant Boy' by Robert Flaherty. He became an American citizen in 1944 and after fighting in the United States Air Force in the Second World War he toured Europe with Tom Arnold's circus. This phoptograph was taken in 1951 when the circus came to Harringey.
© Henry Grant Collection/Museum of London