Hannover Zoo in Germany

Hannover Zoo
<a href="http://www.elephant.se/database2.php?elephant_id=759">Tarak</a> born 2005 in Hannover Zoo. Photo © Petra Prager
Tarak born 2005 in Hannover Zoo. Photo © Petra Prager


First elephant arrived1872
Address Adenauerallee 3
Zip-code D-30175
Place Hannover
Country Germany
Website Website

Directors 1931-1971: Hermann Ruhe Jr. (director)
1961-1972: Lothar Dittrich (assistant director)
1961-1972: Hermann Ruhe III (director)
1972-1993: Lothar Dittrich (director)

Key People: Franz Kraml (animal trainer)
1981-1987: Jürgen Kruse (zookeeper)

Veterinarians 1996-2009: Andreas Knieriem (veterinarian)

Elephant department

Head keepers
of elephants
1963-: Wolfgang Ramin
(elephant head-keeper)
-1992: Rolf Amelung
(elephant head-keeper)
1992-2017: Jürgen Kruse
(elephant head-keeper)
2018-2020: Mathias Otto
(elephant head-keeper)

Elephant keepers -1935: Mandal Sukla
1987-1992: Jürgen Kruse
Record history
History of updates2023-09-27

Latest document update2023-09-27 15:27:58
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Hannover Zoo, located at Adenauerallee 3, in Hannover, Germany , was founded in 1865 and the first elephant arrived in 1872.

Living elephants

At the Hannover Zoo lives 6 elephants with records in this database: (detail list)
  1. Califa born 2003-02-02
  2. Indra born 1973-01-23
  3. Jenny born 2016-12-23
  4. Manari born 1990
  5. Meena born 2017-01-19
  6. Yumi born 2014-03-17

Comments / picturesFounded 1865, Hannover Zoo bought its first elephant in 1872.

Hannover Zoo in Germany Germany

Hannover Zoo were leased by Firma Ruhe (Hermann Ruhe) 1931 to 1971, and was during those years a transit location for a lot of elephants, later sold elsewhere. "Hannover Zoo old, the fourth-oldest in Germany, inaugurated in 1865…The zoo did as well as any in a large, provincial German town over the decades, and suffered as most others did during the First World War, the post-war years of inflation, and the Great Depression. In 1931 it was leased to the wild-animal traders of L. Ruhe in nearby Alfeld. Ruhe, founded in 1860 and thus older than the zoo, had established itself during the inter-war years as the premier animal dealership in Europe. The lease would hold until 1971, and gave visitors to Hannover Zoo over the years an opportunity to see rare and unusual animals that would otherwise seldom make it into a provincial menagerie."

Due to World-War II, all elephants were transferred to Ruhe in Alfeld between 1944 and 1946).

Due to the amount of animals, and also probably the competence of their keepers, Hannover was fortunate in breeding elephants, and was record keeper in Europe for a long time. This was partly also because they kept bulls in free contact, by means of the head elephant keeper Wolfgang Ramin, who had worked with the bulls before at Circus Knie.

Hannover Zoo in Germany GermanyElephant keeper Wolfgang Ramin, Sara and Sabu, Hannover 1971.

Hannover Zoo in Germany GermanyThe bull with Tusks is Moti, who sired a number of babies.

During the 80s, breeding was less common, however a stillbirth is recorded from the cow Jenny, sired by Siporex, a second Zoo generation bull, born in Ahlborg Zoo in Denmark.

Hannover Zoo in Germany Germany
Previous head elephant keeper Rolf Amelung training the elephants in the old out enclosure in December 1981. Photo: Wayne A. Jackson, Canada

In June 1988 the bull Siporex attacked head elephant keeper Rolf Amelung during training performance, and had to be kept off-hand since then. Later his Feet got worse, and he was finally euthanized.

During this period Hannover Zoo also shipped their last African elephants to Basel Zoo in Switzerland.

Hannover Zoo in Germany Germany
Jenny (Ilona and Calvin in background), May 1997. Photo: Jan Jakobi.

Hannover Zoo in Germany Germany
Ilona and Khaing Hnin Hnin, July 2004. Photo: Jan Jakobi.

Hannover Zoo in Germany Germany

Elephant head keeper 1992-2017 Jürgen Kruse bei training. Photo: Stefan Aspegren

Also after the new house was built, Hannover Zoo kept its tradition with classical Free-contact training, and became once again successful in breeding, after the import of the elephant bull Calvin from Canada.

After 2017 Hannover Zoos elephants were transferred to Protected Contact.

References for records about Hannover Zoo

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan (2024). Hannover Zoo, Elephant Encyclopedia. Available online at https://www.elephant.se/location2.php?location_id=11. (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

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