Vanni at Nikolaev Zoo

Female ♀ African Bush elephant (Loxodonta africana) Vanni at Nikolaev Zoo

† Vanni
ID Number:EEP Number: 7310 - 
Species: African Bush elephant (Loxodonta africana)
Sex and age:Female ♀ 33 years old
Dead date: 2006-08
Death reason: disease: Anorexia
Location:Nikolaev Zoo
ArrivedNikolaev Zoo 2005-10-03 from Zoolandia
Zoolandia 1984-00-00
from Circus Finlandia
Circus Finlandia 1980-00-00
from Helsinki Zoo (Korkeasaari Elaintarha)
Born:1973 wild
Document updated2009-03-21: Text
Vanni was the second most northern living elephant in the world, (the most northern was Maggie from Alaska Zoo) since Lieto is just above 60 degrees North. From 1995 to 2005 she was Finlands only elephant, and many people, especially animal welfare people, felt that it was sad for her to be the only elephant. Vanni was one of the larger female african elephants in Europe: her shoulder height was 2.85 meters! Her frontfoot circumpherence was 1.30 meters.

She came to Finland (Circus Finlandia) 1980 from Jugoslavia, together with another african elephant which died in Ulcus during the quarantene. 1984 she came to Zoolandia. During those years she was chained at nights until 1990. Between 1990-1995 she had company from Pepita, an Asian female bought from Circus Sariola in Finland. The two females were nighttime separated in two boxes, wearing no chains, and was daytime kept together free. Pepita died 1995 in Uterus cancer, and since then Vanni had the whole area of 210 m2. She shared the house (700 m2) with sheeps, minipigs, horses, donkeys and birds. Especially the sheeps were her friends, and she fed them often hay. Even children could walk into her box, she never harmed anyone. Her right backleg was a little deformed, so she limped a little bit.

In 2005 it was decided to transfer her to Ukraine. She did not survive her new home in Ukraine more than 9 months. But those 9 months was a victory for the animal welfare people who "won in the end". Somehow Vanni did not apreciate their support, she stopped eating in Nikolaev Zoo and died in young age.

Sources, among others

  • Dan Koehl
  • Teija Hakkarainen, elephant keeper in Zoolandia
  • Vanni, Suomalaisen norsuhistorian lyhyt oppimäärä
    by Markku Aulanko, 2005, ISBN 952-91-9624-5.

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