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Historical records reveal elephant keepers and trainers in the UK in the 1930s

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To celebrate the launch of Tim Burton’s live-action remake of the animated classic, Dumbo, Ancestry has uncovered archive imagery of circus elephants through the ages.

Bringing the story of the big-eared elephant to life, Ancestry has also discovered real-life ‘Dumbos’ in its historical records with seven people named ‘Dumbo Elephant’ and 14 elephant trainers and keepers based in the UK in 1939 – just two years before the original Dumbo movie launched.
 
Ancestry's records contain images of a thirsty circus elephant propping up the bar, elephants sitting for a manicure and more – leaving only one question unanswered: could any of these be the real Dumbo? 
 
Explore Ancestry's records on their website.
 
 
(images courtesy of Ancestry and ©Hulton Archive / Getty Images)
 

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