Moat


Definition of Moat

From the elephant glossary Section: management


Asian elephant Manjula at a dangerous moat in Zoo San Salvador.
Asian elephant Manjula at a dangerous moat in Zoo San Salvador.
Elephant Hilda after falling down into a dry moat, Prospect Park, 1938.
Elephant Hilda after falling down into a dry moat, Prospect Park, 1938.



Relevant Literature about Moat
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A moat is a deep, broad ditch, either dry or filled with water, that is dug and surrounds a castle, fortification, building or town, historically to provide it with a preliminary line of defence

Moats can be used to separate animals from spectators in many modern zoo installations. Moats were first used in this way by Carl Hagenbeck Jr. at his Hagenbecks Tierpark in Hamburg, Germany. The structure, with a vertical outer retaining wall rising direct from the moat, is an extended usage of the ha-ha of English landscape gardening.

Dry moats were common during the 20th century, to separate elephants from the public, as well as keeping the elephants confined, both indoor and outdoor.

Between 1938 and 2009 at least 29 elephants died, or was euthanised due to accidents related to dry moats in elephant facilities.

The last time in Europe an accident happened was in October 2011 when the male Radza in Zoo Emmen fell into the moat and broke one of his Tusks. Second last time accident was 2009 with a female from same zoo in Emmen, who died after falling down into the moat. and third last time was with the female elephant Vilja in Wilhelma Zoo, Stuttgart, Germany, who in January 2008 was pushed by another elephant, and fell into the narrow hard concrete moat, and she couldn't turn around, or stand up, because the moat was so narrow, so her body got fixed in a position, from where she had to be lifted up with assistance of Fire Brigade equipment:

Dry moats should not be built anymore, but some older elephants facilities still use them. Old deep dry moats with hard bottom are very risky, and elephants can fall down, either when searching for food, or when they fight. If a dry moat is used it should have soft bottom, dropdown < 1,5 meters, width > 2,4 meters, and ramp or gate access to enclosure. (Biology, medicine, and surgery of elephants, by Murray E. Fowler, Susan K. Mikota)

34 Deceased elephants due to falling into dry moats.

Index Sex Species Name Id Origin Arrival Location
1† ♀ EM -Ranny (Rani)-

Born wild 1952 x Dead 2009-03-141958-07-30 Mexico City Zoo
2† ♀ LA -Zambi (Jambi)-

Born wild 1965 x Dead 2009-03-091976-00-00 Mysore Zoo
3† ♀ EM -Annabel (Tessa)-

EEP id: 6606
Born wild 1964 x Dead 2009-03-011966-05-20 Emmen Zoo
4† ♀ EM -Bambi-

Born wild 1962 x Dead 2005-03-02 Tunis Belvedere Zoo
5† ♀ LA -Zimba II-

Born wild 1985 x Dead 1995-09-221986-10-17 Duisburg Zoo
6† ♀ EM -Samorn-

ASMP id: 33
Born wild 1950 x Dead 1994-10-101991-11-17 Monarto Zoo
7† ♂ EM -Bo Gyi-

EEP id: 9205
Born captive-born < 1 1992-06-01 Naing Thein x Yu Zin Dead 1993-07-011992-06-01 Emmen Zoo
8† ♀ LC -Carla-

Born wild 1978 x Dead 1991-03-181981-11-04 Rome Zoo
9† ♀ EM -Dombo-

Born wild 1951 x Dead 1990-04-001955-00-00 Tierpark Berlin
10† ♀ LA -Tonga II-

Born wild x Dead 1989 Nuremberg Zoo
11† ♀ LA -McClean-

SSP id: 359
Born wild 1971 x Dead 1986-03-011977-11-28 Los Angeles Zoo
12† ♀ LC -Gbaya (NGbaya)-

Born wild 1958 x Dead 1985-08-191961-09-11 Duisburg Zoo
13† ♀ EM -Yi Long-

Born unknown ~1921 x Dead 1983-09-19 Guangzhou Zoo (Canton Zoo)
14† ♂ EM -Ba Bao-

Born unknown ~1910 x Dead 1983-09-19 Guangzhou Zoo (Canton Zoo)
15† ♀ EM -Sari-

Born wild 1967 x Dead 1983-07-151972-06-23 Magdeburg Zoo
16† ♀ LA -Toto-

Born wild 1959 x Dead 19801962-00-00 London Zoo
17† ♂ LA -Jumbolino (Bubbles)-

Born wild 1962 x Dead 19791964-08-00 Chester Zoo
18† ♂ EM -noname-

SSP id: 64
Born captive-born < 1 1975-05-10 Packy x Me-Tu Dead 1975-12-021975-05-10 Los Angeles Zoo
19† ♂ EM -Ziggy (Herman)-

SSP id: 453
Born wild 1919 x Dead 1975-10-271936-07-28 Brookfield Zoo
20† ♂ EM -miscarriage-

Born captive-born < 1 1974-10-26 Nobby x Sheba Dead 1974-10-261974-10-26 Chester Zoo
21† ♀ EM -Walli-

EEP id: 5015
Born wild 1950 x Dead 1974-09-011950-07-20 Whipsnade Wild Animal Park
22† ♂ EM -Mohan (Gyro, Gyro-Moe)-

SSP id: 530
Born unknown 1960-05-12 x Dead 1967-06-261964-11-29 Calgary Zoo
23† ♀ LA -Dicksie-

Born wild 1938 x Dead 19671945-00-00 London Zoo
24† ♂ EM -Frank-

EEP id: 5001
Born wild 1955 x Dead 1966-09-151956-05-15 Aalborg Zoo (Aalborg Zoologiske Have)
25† ♀ EM -Lollo-

EEP id: 6206
Born wild 1949 x Dead 1965-10-301962-05-22 Hannover Zoo
26† ♂ EM -Pepik (Joe)-

EEP id: 5605
Born wild 1955 x Dead 1964-01-001956-10-06 Ostrava Zoo
27† ♀ EM -Olympia-

Born wild 1930 x Dead 19641963-00-00 Erfurt Zoo
28† ♀ EM -Tokuko-

Born unknown 1949 x Dead 1958-05-20? Ueno Zoo
29† ♀ EM -Cilly-

Born wild 1915-1920 x Dead 1951-07-211942-04-19 Leipzig Zoo
30† ♀ EM -Nancy-

SSP id: 449
Born wild 1920 x Dead 1951-01-191933-11-10 Brookfield Zoo
31† ♀ EM -Nellie-

ASMP id: 26
Born unknown x Dead 1949-05-211948-08-16 Sydney Zoo
32† ♀ EM -Kalifa II-

EEP id: 2801
Born captive-born 1928-09-20 Harry x Toni II (Mary) Dead 19391928-09-20 Berlin Zoo
33† ♂ EM -Bill-

SSP id: T2123
Born wild 1930 x Dead 19391932-00-00 Prospect Park Zoo
34† ♀ EM -Hilda-

SSP id: T2185
Born wild 1930 x Dead 1938-09-08 Prospect Park Zoo




Reference list Koehl, Dan, (2024). Moat. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 20 September 2021 at https://www.elephant.se/index.php?id=234. (archived at the Wayback machine)


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