Knies Kinderzoo in Switzerland

Knies Kinderzoo

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Owner1962-now: National-Circus AG
Size4.2 hectares
Total nrs348
First elephant arrived1962
Opened for public1962
Number of species42
Number of animals348
Address Oberseestrasse 36
Zip-code 8640
Place Rapperswil
Province Kanton St. Gallen
Region Ostschweiz
Country Switzerland
Website Website

Directors 1962-1992: Fredy Knie Sr. (director)
1983: Ruppert Bemmerl (assistant director)
1992: Franco Knie (director)
2016-now: Franco Knie Jr. (director)

Key People

Veterinarians 2011-2015: Hanspeter Steinmetz (veterinarian)

Elephant department

Head keepers
of elephants
2013-: Torsten Oppermann
(elephant head-keeper)
-: Kalle Behring
(elephant head-keeper)

Elephant keepers
Record history
History of updates2021-12-23

Latest document update2021-12-23 19:11:58
Google map
Relevant literature
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Knies Kinderzoo, located at Oberseestrasse 36 , in Rapperswil, Deutschschweiz, Switzerland , was founded in 1962, opened for public in 1962 and the first elephant arrived in 1962.

Living elephants

At the Knies Kinderzoo lives 9 elephants with records in this database: (detail list)
  1. Ceylon II born 1970
  2. Kalaya born 2013-11-01
  3. Kamon born 2022-05-07
  4. Mapalay born 1986
  5. Mekong born ~1982
  6. Rani born 1982
  7. Sabu born 1984
  8. Sandry born 1999-11-27
  9. Thisiam born 1998-05-04

Comments / pictures1955: A famous elephant trainer who worked for Knie was Ruppert Bemmerl, born 1931 in Steinach, Germany, who left Billy Smart’s Circus and joined Circus Knie in 1955.

Knies Kinderzoo in Switzerland Switzerland
In the seventies Bemmerl presented three bulls in the ring, the african Tembo and the two asians Mohti and Siam. Rupert Bemmerl was later responsible for the Rappersville Kinderzoo.

2014-2016: the zoo renewed and expanded its facilities. The Himmapan elephant park was the largest project in the zoo\'s history, and comprises 6,500 square metres (69,965 sq ft), including dining facilities on a rock construction for 300 guests operating all over the year. Launched during the 2103 season, it was completed in March 2015. The old elephant facilities have been rebuilt as habitats specially designed for the particular needs of the zoo\'s cheetah and penguin Species. Himmapan even have its own website at

2020-05-20: The elephant bull Mekong arrived from Zoo Emmen.

References for records about Knies Kinderzoo

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan (2024). Knies Kinderzoo, Elephant Encyclopedia. Available online at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

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