At 10.30 a.m. July 20 the expedition led by British engineering graduate John Hoyte left?
At 10.30 a.m. July 20 the expedition led by British engineering graduate John Hoyte left Montmelian, France, and set out to cross the Alps with the elephant Jumbo, who arrived in Montmelian by train from Turin Zoo.
There has long been speculation about which route was taken by Hannibal when he crossed the Alps with his elephants over two thousand years ago on his daring military campaign into Italy. With Jumbo and his helpers. John Hoyte, who is 26 - the same age as Hannibal when he made the earlier expedition - may be able to throw new light on the question.
A tape was cut to mark the start of the trek into Italy, and not long afterwards, Jumbo was given a drink and sprayed with water to cool her off as the weather was very warm.
The expedition crossed a bridge over the river Isere - crossed by Hannibal with the aid of rafts, and in the evening arrived at the small town of La Rochette. Accompanying Mr. Hoyte is Miss Smith, who is in charge of cooking arrangements and looking after the expedition's mules.
Jumbo - specially equipped with canvas boots to help her over the mountain passes - is expected to take about ten days to reach Italy. The last part of the journey takes her over the 7,000-ft. high Clapier Pass.