Kolmarden Zoo (Kolmardens djurpark) in Sweden

Kolmarden Zoo (Kolmardens djurpark)
enclosures and the stables. Photo: © Lillian Berthung
enclosures and the stables. Photo: © Lillian Berthung
Typezoo
Founded1965
First elephant1964
CountrySweden
Websitehttp://www.kolmarden.com
Google map

1963: The first two asian elephants arrive, female Chocolate and the male Nobi in same age.
After 1963: After Nobi died, another female was bought, with the name Sandra or Samba, her later whereabots are presently unknown.
1967: Donkey arrives?
1967: Samba probably was sold this year (To Russia?). Dinah, Mable and Delhi/Dahlia arrives.
1973: 3 africans arrive, which are displayed in the Safaripark.
1974: The 3 africans are moved to Stäpp stables. Kolmarden has 3 Africans and 2 Asians.
1974: 4 elephants; the asians Donkey and Chocolate, and the africans Noby and Gypsie, were transfered from the antilope stables to a new elephant house.
1985: Mida arrives.
1990: Putshi, female Asian elephant from Copenhagen zoo arrives.
1994: Brahma, male Asian elephant from Mysore zoo arrives.
2000: Sandai, Asian elephant from Duisburg zoo arrives.
2004: 2 females from Thailand arrives.
2007: Saba, 1 female from le Pal in France arrives.

Head elephant keepers:
Hans Romlund 1968-1973
Franz Tisch
Rolf Claesson
Sven Mellgren -2003?


Riding operations were provided from late sixties until 1970 with the austrian elephant trainer Franz Tisch, later with Sven Mellgren as head keeper. A breeding group was developed in late 80s, with the bull Brahma, (who was managed in free contact) imported from Mysore in India as stud.


Unfortunately, just after the first cow was pregnant, the group started to get open infection of Tuberculosis. Due to swedish regulations, the whole group was euthanised, animal by animal, after they started to show positive TB-test with trunk wash. After this the stable was in quarantene for some time, until the new elephant arrived from Thailand, a gift from the king of Thailand to the king of Sweden.


The old group of elephants in Kolmarden



The new group consists of Saba, Bua and Sao Noi, asian females. Saba was i protected contact until her arrival in Kolmarden in november 2007. Photo: Emelie Olander.


From left: Saba, Sao Noi, and Bua. (elephant keeper Dan Koehl) Photo: Andreas Levestam

During 2007 and 2008 research was being made by biologist Karolina Bördin.

The aim with this study is to measure the elephants’ motivation for different kinds of environmental enrichment. This is done by letting the elephants pull a rope and thereby lift weights. If the elephant lifts the weights, she gets access to the enrichment. The test is repeated once every day, with increased weight, until the elephant has reached her ”maximum price”. So far two tests have been carried out; a comparator test with hay (Saonoi pulled 454 kg and Bua pulled 381 kg) and an enrichment test where the elephants opened the valve to a water hose (Saonoi pulled 309 kg and Bua pulled 236 kg). The next test will be on communication. Wild elephants communicate over large distances using infrasounds. To stimulate this behaviour in human care, an internet acoustic link will be established with a German zoo. This will offer Bua and Saonoi the opportunity to ”talk” to other elephants. Hopefully they will found this very interesting and stimulating!

veterinär råd åga mul och klöv aug-64-maj 65

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