Tonga (Rambo) at Vienna Zoo (Tiergarten Schönbrunn)

Female African Bush elephant Tonga (Rambo) at Vienna Zoo (Tiergarten Schönbrunn)

Tonga with Dan Koehl in winter snow 1998. Photo: © Jutta Kirchner
Tonga (Rambo)
ID Number:EEP Number: 8604 - 
Species: African Bush elephant
Sex and age:Female 32 years
Management:Protected contact
Location:Vienna Zoo (Tiergarten Schönbrunn)
ArrivedVienna Zoo (Tiergarten Schönbrunn) 1998-08-18
from Bussolengo Safari Park - Garda Zoological Park - (Parco Natura Viva)
Bussolengo Safari Park - Garda Zoological Park - (Parco Natura Viva) 1988-06-10
from Firma Ruhe (Tierhandelsfirma Ruhe)
Firma Ruhe (Tierhandelsfirma Ruhe)
from Kruger National Park
Born:1985 wild in
Kruger National Park
Offspring and year of birth:
  1. (F) 2003-05-25 Mongu, EEP nr: 20022
  2. (F) 2013-09-04 Iqhwa
Document updated2009-10-23: prev location
2012-08-25: pregnant
2013-11-03: not pregnant
2017-03-08: link to Elefanten-Fotolexikon (Petra Prager) submitted
2017-03-08: link to ele-wiki submitted
Tonga was not totally off-hand in Bussolengo, but not really trained. The headkeeper Gian Carlo, managed her in a friendly, not dominant way, and she had a nice relation with him and other keepers in Bussolengo.



When she grew older, she started to destroy her stable, and since she was Bussolengos last and only elephant, it was decided to sell her to Sch�nbrunn in Vienna. She was transfered to free contact training by Dan Koehl during a hot summer in 1998. Already after two weeks she could be ridden.

In November 2011 Tonga was inseminated with semen from a wild elephant bull in Africa.

Sources, among others

  • Dan Koehl
  • Jutta Kirchner, Vienna
  • African Elephant Studbook, Europe Regional EEP
    by Amelia Terkel, Zoological center Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Israel

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