Nika and elephant keeper Mats Berg after morning walk in the Stockholm Zoo Skansen, 1971. Photo: Erland Axel Wadsten.
Nika was born 1958 in Assam, India, and came to Skansen Zoo in Stockholm, from Hagenbecks in Hamburg in 1960. She was officially called Gobi.
It is possible that she came with ship from Calcutta to Bremerhafen in 1960, together with Shöpfi in Dresden ZooDue to an accident 1969, when she fell down with the right hindleg in a whole in stable used to bring out manure, she suffered from scholiosis, making her right leg shorter, why she was limping a little bit.
Bambina was alone a couple of years, Fatima was bought in 1951, Nika 1960m and Noi in 1967, after Bambina died. Fatima was sold to Ahlborg Zoo in Denmark, and Noi was sent to Copenhagen for cover in 1980, why Nika was single elephant from 1980 until 1984 when Shiva arrived from Circus Sariola in Finland. Nika became very dependant on her keepers during those years, and her social behaviour was fairly focused on soclai relationship with the staff. Every morning after keepers arrived, she wanted to stand and just greet the keeper, asking them by pulling them them close to her ear, to rumble into the ear on close distance.
Rumbling is of course one of the more common sounds between elephants, but not many keepers has used this way of communicating with their elephants, in order to strengthen the bonding.
Nika and Dan Koehl at Skansen in Stockholm 1988. Photo: Carina Gerken.