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By Melissa Boyde (eds.)

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Jamrach may have thought he was heroically rescuing John Wade and indeed he was. But he was also fighting for the integrity of the Empire. One of the stories which made the reputation of Sir James Outram, one of the commanders of the British forces sent to deal with the rebellion, was that he had, early in his career, killed a tiger with a spear. The symbolic value of this anecdote is clear – if you can subdue a tiger, you can subdue India. Singapore was also a colony where British traders enjoyed a near monopoly, and it was of course the return from Singapore of Sir Stamford Raffles, bringing with him his second substantial menagerie (the first all went down with his ship which caught fire on his first attempt to come home) that led to the foundation of London Zoo.

Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006. Allin, Michael. Zarafa: The True Story of a Giraffe’s Journey from the Plains of Africa to the Heart of Post-Napoleonic France. New York: Walker, 1998. Berger, John. About Looking. London: Writers and Readers, 1980. Braidotti, Rosi. ‘Animals, Anomalies, and Inorganic Others’. 2 (2009): 526–32. Burns, Khephra. ‘Tall Horse: Performance Script’. Journey of The Tall Horse: A Story of African Theatre. By Mervyn Millar. London: Oberon Books, 2006.

By the end of the century it was not only live animals that were being exported but wombat and koala skins by the hundreds of thousands and various kangaroo products including tinned meat for human consumption. In 1889 alone three hundred thousand koala skins with a value of £15,000 were imported into Britain (by 1924 this had grown to two million skins), which shows how important the exotic animal trade was to the network of colonial economies and the co-dependencies between the economies of the colonies and the mother country.

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