Elephant park

The elephant family

16 Asian elephants live in Cologne’s elephant park, the largest and most modern elephant park north of the Alps with 20,000 square metres. Here there are currently four young animals to be seen – playing, scrapping and romping. This is unique in Europe. The social group is naturally growing. This makes special observations possible.

The youngest resident, the small bull calf Kitai, was only born in June 2017. He is the tenth young animal to be born here. The Cologne elephant herd live in their natural family group with no direct contact with the keepers. They are led by their matriarch, Kreeblamduan. Learn more about our family of pachyderms.

Introducing the elephants

Kreeblamduan is the matriarch.
The other cows in the group are Thi Ha Phyu, Shu Tu Zar, Maha Kumari, Tong Koon, Maejaruad, Laongdaw and Marlar, the first elephant ever born in Cologne.
The next generation of the group is made up of Bindi, La Min Kyaw, Jung Bul Kne, Moma and Kitai.
In a separate area we have our bulls, Bindu, one of the largest bulls in Europe, as well as Sang Raja and Rajendra.

Superb - 150 years of elephant keeping in Cologne Zoo

An exemplary concept - from elephant attraction to target training

The elephant park offers these grey giants a suitable home adapted to their natural needs. As in nature, elephants spend the greatest part of the day in their herd. Their only human contact is with regard to care and feeding. In order to ensure safe contact, the keepers train them using modern methods.

Asian elephants

Elephants are the largest and heaviest land mammals on earth. In order to feed their body weighing up to several tons, elephants eat up to 150 kg daily, mainly grass. Just by looking at their faeces it is easy to see that these animals are very poor feed converters: depending on the type of feed, 30 to 80% of their food is excreted again undigested. Elephants live in herds with complex social structures. They usually consist of related cows (sisters, aunts, nieces, mothers and daughters, etc.) and their young offspring. The matriarch is usually the oldest and most experienced cow. When young females become sexually mature, they initially stay in the group where they give birth to their first young. Only when the herd gets too large will a group of young adult females split off. Young bulls, on the other hand, leave the herd as soon as they become sexually mature. Afterwards, they form their own bachelor groups or live as solitary animals, especially as they get older.  

Problem: Unemployment

In Asia, there is a long tradition of working elephants. Nowadays, a significant part of all Asian elephants live under the care of people, mostly as working elephants. A current problem is the growing competition from technology and the ensuing "unemployment" for working elephants. The fear is that the long-term survival of Asian elephants in their native countries relies on them being looked after by humans, due to their rapidly shrinking habitat and the growing potential for conflict with the local population. The Cologne Elephant Park wants to make a contribution to the conservation of these impressive beasts and provides a home for up to 20 elephants.

System: Proboscidae, elephants

Height: up to 3.3 m

Body weight: up to 5.5 t

Maximum age: 40 years in the wild, in the zoo up to 55 years

Sexual maturity: at 8-12 years of age

Gestation: average 22 months

Habitat: Savannah, light forests, secondary forests, even in mountains

Distribution: South and South-East Asia

Population in Asia: approx. 40,000, of which 30% in human custody

Population in European Zoos: approx. 200

Food: mostly grasses, also leaves, bark, roots

 

 

Source: https://www.koelnerzoo.de/ (Status: 24.08.2018)

 

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