"I...am not in the habit of selling my pets or parting with my old servants because I find them subject occasionally, perhaps even periodically, to fits of ill temper..." (John Rankin)
Many Londoners remember riding in a howdah on the back of Jumbo, the largest elephant in captivity, when they were young. Many would also remember writing protest letters to Queen Victoria, whose own children probably rode on Jumbo, upon finding out that P. T. Barnum intended on buying the elephant. The American had plans for Jumbo to tour with The Barnum & Bailey Circus. But Londoners would not give up without a fight; they thought of the elephant as a pet, not a zoo inmate (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumbo).
In 1882, London Zoological Society member John Ruskin joined in the protest by writing a letter to the Morning Post. "I am not in the habit of selling my pets or parting with my old servants because I find them subject occasionally, perhaps even periodically, to fits of ill temper..." explained Ruskin, referring to Jumbo's temper tantrums.
Legal proceedings were launched to halt the sale of Jumbo. In the meantime, Ruskin thought: "there is time for the children to say their say and pay their peace and make Jumbo their own forever." However, in the end the London court ruled that P. T. Barnum had every right to purchase Jumbo, for which the zoo would receive $10,000.
One would assume that Queen Victoria sent the schoolchildren's letters to the shredder (if there was such a thing in 1882). Jumbo's fate was no better: he was killed by a train in St. Thomas, Ontario three years later.
Note: For more information, read "Jumbo the Elephant" at http://alinefromlinda.blogspot.ca/2014/10/lemon-yogurt-bundt-cake.html.