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 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.
Nehring with African female Duala at Circus Barum.
Wolfgang Nehring with Asian female Duala, walking the streets of the Krefeld city.
Wolfgang Nehring with Asian female Rheena
Wolfgang Nehring by training of an Asian female in Singapore Zoo, 1986.
Photo: Tobias Dornbusch