Narrating the correlation of elephants as related to their import, groupings, breeding and transfers,
along with other elephant related topics.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Circus Vargas - 1974

The 1974 Circus Vargas herd featured a herd of nine ( including an African and a male ) in its second year of owning, rather than leasing, elephants.

Colonel, Koora and unknown w/ Wally Ross
Courtesy of Buckles Woodcock

The 1974 season of Cliff Vargas' newly named Circus Vargas ( formerly Miller-Johnson Circus under Charlie Germaine, sold in 1972 ), featured nine elephants as listed by elephant historian Buckles Woodcock - Minnie, Colonel, Shirley, Lottie, Judy, Hattie, Trixie, Koora and Dutchess. The show, though featuring three less elephants than the year prior, added four more under Vargas ownership, eliminating the need to lease independent acts.

Circus Vargas 1974 - Picket line / Lot layout
Courtesy of Jerry Cash, Buckles Blog
The first five elephants, acquired in 1973, were acquired from Gene Holter of California - Minnie, Colonel Joe, Shirley, Virginia ( renamed Lottie ? ) and Judy. Four more animals were acquired the following year - Hattie, Trixie, Koora and Dutchess. Of the 1974 herd additions, two have known origins while two are unknown.

Louis Polack purchased three young elephants from importer Meems & Ward. Named April, May and June, veteran elephant trainer Cheerful Gardner passed on the opportunity to train them due to his age. Sold to the Miller family, the MGM elephants were purchased to replace these three on the Polack show. In the winter of 1949/50, they were three of eight young animals trained by Col. William Woodcock in Hugo, Oklahoma. April was renamed Hattie. She stayed with the show through the merge of the Kelly Miller show with Carson and Barnes until her sale to Vargas in 1974.

Koora arrived to the Vargas herd after a 8 year history with the Africa USA / Marineworld enterprises.

Trixie's origins are unknown.

Dutchess' origins are unknown.

A new article at ShowMe Elephants discusses Dutchess.

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I eagerly anticipate associating with new individuals with an interest or history in elephants, elephant history and elephant record keeping. If you have further information regarding the animals or locations questioned in the article, please leave a comment or message me in an effort to complete their records for elephant historians.