Entertainment or cruelty: 25 vintage images from mobile menageries
The peak of popularity of mobile menageries is considered to be the XIX century: then it was an integral part of everyday entertainment, and even more so fairs and holiday performances in Europe and America. The conditions of keeping animals were not that bad – they often caused the death of exotic Pets. In our review today, there are 25 old photos taken in mobile menageries in different countries.
Mobile menageries should not be confused with circuses or zoos. In circuses, all attention is usually focused on the tricks that animals are taught. In zoos try to engage in educational work with visitors, the animals there are kept in stationary enclosures. Mobile menageries tried to save space and money as much as possible, and therefore instead of aviaries, animals were often kept in tight cages. Some animals were taught simple tricks, but most were still just visual AIDS – the audience was shown how unusual these creatures are, often forcibly forcing the animals to put up with constant contact with numerous visitors.
The purpose of traveling menageries they make a profit and only profit. Therefore, they provided services for photos with unusual exotic animals. For some Pets, taking photos with people was a real job that they did from morning to night. As soon as the number of visitors ran out, the menagerie moved to another city. In Europe, such nomadic menageries became obsolete even before the second World war, but in America you can find such entertainment until the 1960s.
However, in the 19th century, not only exotic animals became the object of attention in menageries – then there were also so-called “human zoos,” in which viewers were invited to look at members of African and Asian tribes contained in enclosures.