Rus Articles Journal

How the rhinoceros died of alcoholism?

Rhinoceros from the Royal menagerie of Gilbert Pidkok were a quiet and obedient animal who very much liked sweet red wine. In October, 1792 a rhinoceros, having drunk several bottles of favourite drink, stumbled and injured the right forward leg. Damage was fatal. Without having recovered from a trauma, the animal died several months later.

The rhinoceros from the Royal menagerie of Gilbert Pidkok was a quiet and obedient animal who very much liked sweet red wine. To drink three - four bottles for time to a rhinoceros did not make any work.

In October, 1792 the animal stumbled and injured the right forward leg. Witnesses claimed that the cause of the accident - unstable gait of a rhinoceros after the next libation. Alas, but damage was fatal.

The rhinoceros arrived to Britain in 1790. The nabob of the Indian city of Lucknow presented it to the colonial official - to the Chairman of the board of representatives for affairs of India Henry Dundas (Henry Dundas). That, in turn, “attached“ an exotic gift in a menagerie, having gained for it 700 pounds. Londoners of the end of the 18th century saw the last live rhinoceros in 1758 therefore the owner of a menagerie Gilbert Pidkok (Gilbert Pidcock) counted that its expenses will repeatedly pay off.

The rhinoceros diet in a menagerie consisted generally of a clover and other greens which were supplemented with pastries and wine. Obviously, food of a huge animal ran into money, but the people “flocked“ therefore neither wine, nor clover, nor did not feel sorry for cookies.

Visitors of a menagerie were touched by rhinoceros tears. He cried waiting for an entertainment if someone appeared at a cage with fruit or other delicacies in hands. Up to now the portrait of a rhinoceros of a brush of the famous animalist and biologist George Stubbs remained.

The message about an exotic show reached royal ears, and the queen of Charlotte enjoined to present it to Windsor for survey by numerous princes and princesses. There was it approximately in 8 - 9 months after an ill-fated trauma. To the palace of a rhinoceros delivered in “car“, apparently - in a huge wooden trailer. The yard was satisfied with a show. In spite of the fact that the rhinoceros still did not recover after injury of a leg, he transferred not distant travel successfully.

Some time the rhinoceros surprised citizens in Ascot near Windsor, but gradually passions around it in London and vicinities began to cease. Perhaps, for this reason Pidkok decided to show an animal to residents of Portsmouth.

Alas, but having overcome about 150 kilometers and having almost achieved the objectives travel, the rhinoceros died of an inflammation in the injured leg. By then as the caravan reached Portsmouth, the body of an animal began to decay. The smell of the decaying rhinoceros was so strong that, according to contemporaries of an event, it was heard at distance more polumila.

The mayor of Portsmouth disposed to bury a corpse as soon as possible, and the decision of the authorities was executed. But Pidkok did not want to reconcile to loss of a source of the income in any way. Under the screen of night he dug out rhinoceros remains to make an effigy.

For the first time this effigy was shown in the fall of 1793 to visitors of the Varfolomeevsky fair, and then exposed for a review in a menagerie.

After Pidkok`s death in 1810 the effigy which completely lost by then “trade dress“ was sold in parts. For a skin gained 5 shillings, for a horn - 1 pound and 2 shillings.

What became with a skin and a horn of a rhinoceros who loved red wine, unfortunately, today nothing is known.