Wolfgang Nehring

From the list of elephant persons Family: Nehring

Wolfgang Nehring
Wolfgang  Nehring
Wolfgang Nehring. Photo: Brian Batstone, Cologne Zoo.
Personal details
Country Germany

Title elephant consultant 1986-1986
Location at Singapore Zoo in Singapore

Title elephant head-keeper 1973-2012
Location at Krefeld Zoo in Germany

Title apprentice keeper 1963-1966
Location at Cologne Zoo (Köln Zoo) in Germany

Title elephant consultant
Location at Jerudong Park in Brunei

Biography details

Wolfgang Wilhelm Johann Nehring , zoo animal trainer in Germany

Born 1949-02-04 in Germany dead 2016-05 in Thailand .

Wolfgang was among the most populair five citizens of Krefeld (1), and nation wide in Germany, one of the more well known elephant trainers, especially during the eighties, not only entertaining the visitors to Krefeld Zoo who would watch his show with the zoos elephants, but Wolfgang also had a very generous attitude towards fresh elephant keepers, and he would inspire many new-comers in the profession. Until 2019, he was the only European elephant man who was as expert, also assisting locations in Asia.

Nehring carried out apprenticeship as zookeeper at Cologne Zoo from 1963, and later worked on various places where he trained animals like elephants, sealions and dolphins.

He arrived at Zoo Krefeld in 1974, where he was head elephant keeper until retirement 2012.

In Krefeld Zoo he reformed the elephant management and In the early eighties he would be among the first elephant keeper in Europe to use power washing machines for cleaning and Skin care, as well as electrical grinders for Footcare.

Nehring also brought the elephants training to a higher standard, as well as developing a number with the sealions. One of his more famous tricks during his elephant show in Krefeld Zoo, was the head carry trick, first seen in Europe 1926 on Circus Hagenbeck, performed by Epi Vidane from Ceylon. Wolfgang  NehringWolfgang Nehring making the head carry trick, inspired from Epi Vidane

Wolfgangs most famous trick was the "trunk bridge", when he was walking from one of the elephants head, on both of the elephants trunks, between one elephant and the next elephants head, which can be seen on the videos below.

Wolfgang Nehring also consulted for Singapore Zoo in 1986, coaching ther elephant keepers and developing a show with their elephants for the Zoos visitors (the last video below), as well as for te Sultan of Brunei, where he trained a young African elephant, a gift to the Sultans son from Tanzania.

The Zoos decision in 2010 to convert the elephant management from free contact to Protected contact was for him a bad decision and made him sad and bitter during his last years, when he was not more aloud to enter the elephants area.

Wolfgang  NehringNehring with African female Duala at Circus Barum.

Wolfgang  NehringWolfgang Nehring with Asian female Duala, walking the streets of the Krefeld city.

Wolfgang  NehringWolfgang Nehring with Asian female Rheena

Wolfgang  NehringWolfgang Nehring by training of an Asian female in Singapore Zoo, 1986.

Wolfgang  NehringPhoto: Tobias Dornbusch

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2024). animal trainer Wolfgang Wilhelm Johann Nehring in Germany. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 23 May 2024 at https://www.elephant.se/person.php?id=195. (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

Selected publications

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Categories animal trainer | zoo | Krefeld Zoo | Nehring family | Born 1949 | Dead 2016 | People from Germany

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