30 March 2020
With financial support from a generous donor in the UK, the site may soon be repaired, and up and running for a year. Lets see... //Dan

Zurich Zoo in Switzerland

Zurich Zoo
The logotype for the elephant house in Zuerich Zoo.
The logotype for the elephant house in Zuerich Zoo.
First elephant0


The old elephant house was built 1971. It had an outdoor enclosure about 860 m2, and a public viewing area, also including facilities for Rock Hyrax. The bull enclosure was built 1981. There was an indoor area 50 m2 and an outdoor area covering 72 m2.

The new 57-million-franc ($63.5-million) facility, "Kaeng Krachan elephant park", an 11,000-square-metre park six times the space of the previous enclosure, with six water basins , was finished in 2014.

The cows are worked in free contact, while the bull Maxi, trained by Ruedi Tanner in free contact, is since many years worked in protected contact.

Since 1994 there is an untethering housing, after a movable barrier was invented. This barrier allows the staff to let the elephants free in the house, so that the elephants can not fall into the moat.

During the day when elephantkeepers are present the barrier is down and the visitors can have a free view of the elephants. When theres a baby elephant the barrier is raised daytime to a halfposition, so the calf is protected and the visitors are not to much disturbed by the barrier. The cows are only chained indoors, while washing. The bull is never tethered.

In the morning the elephants are fed 5 kg bran, with warm water, vitamines and salt.

After washing the elephants in the morning, they are free to bath in the inner pool.

During the day they are fed branches as much as possible. In the evening each elephant becomes 25 kg of hay and some straw, 5 kg bred and about 20 kg of carrots or beets, and three times a week some apple and some vegetables.

Every afternoon, when the bull is not in musth, he is kept together with the cows in the outdoor enclosure.
When the temperature allows, we feed the cows their eveningmeal in the house and let the outdoors open, so they can go in and out during the evening and in the night. In spring and autumn when its gets colder, the cows has the door closed, and so the bull can use the cows outdoor enclosure in the evening and night.

Information and photographs provided 29 September 98 by Georges Frei, elephant keeper in Zürich Zoo. Georges has made a webpage about the elephants at: http://www.upali.ch