Regular Training and skin care
The Elephants live in one of the largest enclosures of our zoo: a total of 4340 square metres both indoors and out are available for these African animals. This includes the "sandpit" where they can "scrub" themselves. A load of sand shot from their trunks onto their backs shoos away flies and helps against itching. Regular training and grooming take place with the Elephants.
Elephants need special looking after so that they never get bored. For this reason it is necessary to have very close contact with these heavy animals that can weight up to three and half tonnes. A special elephant hook is used as an aid by the elephant keeper to ensure that he or she is ranked as the leader in the group, similar to the way the Elephants sometimes use their tusks among themselves.
The herd is growing
On 3 June 2005 the Elephant female "Punda" gave birth to the first elephant baby at the Wuppertal Zoo. "Bongi", a young female, weighed 106 kg at birth and was 87cm tall. The easy birth only took 10 minutes with the help of the keeper and vet and was the first time an African Elephant was born in North Rhine-Westphalia, which was a real sensation.
A second Elephant, little "Kibo", was born on 9 October 2005. The son of "Numbi", he weighed 101 kg and was 90 cm tall. "Punda" and "Numbi" cared for their offspring really well.
Friday 13 July 2007 was the Zoo's lucky day because the head female Elephant "Sabie" gave birth to a daughter "Tika" (75 kg, 82 cm). Exactly half a year later on 13 January 2008 the "Sunday boy" "Tamo" from "Sweni" was born. He weighed 97 kg and was 90 cm tall.
All of the Elephant babies have the same father "Tusker" and are therefore half-brothers and sisters. "Kibo" and his mother "Numbi" moved to the Schönbrunn zoological gardens in Vienna in December 2009 where "Numbi", on 6 August 2010, had a son. The visitors could vote on naming him and he was called "Tuluba". somit Halbgeschwister.
"Kibo" ist zusammen mit seiner Mutter "Numbi" im Dezember 2009 in den Wiener Tiergarten Schönbrunn umgezogen. Dort brachte "Numbi" am 6. August 2010 wieder einen kleinen Elefantenbullen zur Welt. Die Besucher konnten bei seiner Namensfindung abstimmen und er wurde "Tuluba" genannt.
Two Elephant babies in one week
At the beginning of 2011 two further Elephant babies were born at the Wuppertal Zoo. The head female "Sabie" had a second baby "Uli" on 16 January 2011 (94 cm, 120 kg). Only four days later on 20 January 2011, "Punda" had her second baby. Her son "Shawu" was very big weighing 128 kg at birth and was 98 cm tall. At the beginning he had difficulties drinking from his mother, but after several days of untiring help from the elephant keepers he could manage it all by himself.
“Sweni” becomes a mother again
On 14 August 2014, our cow elephant “Sweni” became a mother for the second time. The little 95 cm male was born into the family group. To honour the outstanding performance in the FIFA Football World Cup, the little elephant was named “Yogi” after the German national football trainer.
An elephant family moves house
To allow sufficient space in the enclosure for the remaining elephants, it was with a heavy heart that we had to bid farewell:
On 23 March 2015, “Punda” (who was pregnant again) and her three children (“Bongi”, “Shawu” and “Pina-Nessie”) set off for their new home, Beekse Bergen safari park in the Netherlands.
A new enclosure has been built there especially for the four elephants from Wuppertal.