Dan Koehl

From the list of elephant persons Family: Koehl

Dan Koehl
Dan  Koehl
African elephant bull Bonniface and Dan Koehl, Victoria Falls, 2006. Photo: Jutta Kirchner, Vienna Zoo.
Personal details
Country Cambodia

Organisations

Title vice chairman 1998
Organisation at European Elephant Keeper and Manager Association

Title chairman
Organisation at Swedish Defend the elephants (Föreningen Försvara Elefanterna)

Work locations
Title elephant consultant 2020-2020
Location at Kulen Elephant Forest in Cambodia

Title elephant consultant 2019-now
Location at Airavata Elephant Foundation in Cambodia

Title elephant consultant 2019-2020
Location at Angkor Wat elephants in Cambodia

Title elephant consultant 2010-2010
Location at Prague Zoo (Zoo Praha) in Czech Republic

Title elephant consultant 2010-2010
Location at Karlsruhe Zoo in Germany

Title elephant keeper 2007-2010
Location at Kolmarden Zoo in Sweden

Title elephant trainer 2006-2006
Location at Elephant Experience Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe

Title elephant trainer 2002-2006
Location at Sondelani Game Lodge in Zimbabwe

Title elephant consultant 2001-2002
Location at Walding Zoo in Austria

Title elephant stable master 2000-2001
Location at Circus Krone in Germany

Title elephant consultant 2000-2000
Location at Kolmarden Zoo in Sweden

Title elephant consultant 1999-1999
Location at Zoolandia in Finland

Title elephant consultant 1998-1998
Location at Dresden Zoo in Germany

Title elephant consultant 1998-1998
Location at Vienna Zoo in Austria

Title elephant consultant 1997-1997
Location at Boras Zoo in Sweden

Title elephant head-keeper 1986-1992
Location at Stockholm Zoo (Skansen) in Sweden

Title elephant keeper 1977-1986
Location at Stockholm Zoo (Skansen) in Sweden

Dan  Koehl
Koehl with Mala and Delhi at Circus Krone 2001. Photo: Catharina Florman.
Dan  Koehl
Sambann getting welcome greeting from local children, after her arrival 2019 to Kulen Forest. Photo: David Piot.
Biography details

Dan Albert John Koehl , camp elephant trainer in Cambodia

Born 1959-10-28 in Sweden .

Koehl grew up in Stockholm. A passionate zoo visitor and aquarist. Koehl began his career in aquarium and zoo-shops, and as commissioned shepherd for the Royal Herd of Sheep at Gärdet in Stockholm, he studied zookeeping at Enskede gårds gymnasium 1976-1979, and started in 1977 as apprentice elephant keeper at Skansen Zoo in Stockholm. He carried out apprenticeship as elephant-keeper at Circus Scott in Stockholm under elephant trainer Banda Vidane, made study trips to Sri Lanka and India, and became schooled in in traditional German elephant management at Hanover Zoo by Rolf Amelung and Tierpark Hagenbeck in Hamburg, by elephant chief trainer Karl Kock. From 1986-1992 he served as Skansens last head elephant keeper.

Dan  KoehlFrom left: Nika, Pelle Zettersten, Dan Koehl and Shiva, during a walk on Skansen. Photo: Catharina Koch-Florman.

While at Skansen, pending the departure of the stable's elephants "Nika" and "Shiva" to inferior living conditions abroad, he figured in a campaign that sparked nationwide debate over "Stockholm's beloved elephants". Despite described by Cynthia Moss in Elephant Memories as "among the best-cared-for and happiest I had ever seen in captivity", after much controversy, Skansen\'s elephants were shipped to Cricket St. Thomas Wildlife Park in Somerset, England, only to face premature death.



Since 1996, Dan Koehl has been free-lancing and served as head elephant keeper, stable master (Equerry) and consultant at zoos, circuses and ranches around the world. Locations have included Skansen (1977-19920, Cirkus Scott (1977), Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich (1991), Borås Wildlife Park (1997), Tiergarten Schönbrunn (1998), Parco Natura Viva (1998), Dresden Zoo (1999), Zoolandia (1999). Kolmården Wildlife Park (2000, and 2007-2010), Circus Krone (2000-2001), Tiergarten Walding 2001-2002), Elephant Experience and Sondelani Game Lodge in Zimbabwe (where he trained a wild caught Group of 10 elephants for safari riding), Karlsruhe Zoo (2010) and Prague Zoo (2010).

At Tiergarten Schönbrunn in Vienna 1998, Koehl assisted Director Dr. Helmut Pechlaner in elephants retraining and staff management when the zoo was induced to establish a new team of elephant keepers, facing a critical campaign concerning its keeping of elephants. In Italy he trained and introduced Rambo/Tango to the Herd in Vienna, as well as transferred and trained the young bull Pambo in Protected Contact.
Likewise he assisted Director Dr. Herbert Lücker with elephant training and staff coaching in Dresden Zoo 1999, when the zoo was under criticism by members of animal rights organisations.

Dan  Koehl
At Circus Krone, Koehl was hired as stable master 2000-2001, in order to improve elephant management conditions.

Dan  Koehl
Elephant crew at Sondelani Game Farm, Zimbabwe, 2002. Photo: Jutta Kirchner, Vienna Zoo.

Since 2010 Koehl has been located in South East Asia, visiting camps and updating his website elephant.se and the Elephant Database.

Koehl has since 2019 been consulting for two elephant Foundations in Cambodia, Compagnie des Eléphants d’Angkor and its successor Kulen Elephant Forest, and Airavata Elephant Foundation, where he have trained the elephants and improved management. At Angkor Wat he trained the Group of elephants foor foot care and to stay obedient in social activity, whereas they were previously managed as single elephants for rides, and they are now hearded daily and managed by the mahouts from the ground in a forest area.

Dan  Koehl
From left: Dan Koehl, Savath Oum, Hen Moel, Chenda Clais, Pierre-Yves Clais, Airavata Elephant Foundation, 2020.


Shorten of hind foot middle nail on Asian elephant bull Khamsen, at Airavata Elephant Foundation in Cambodia. Film © by Pierre-Yves Clais, Airavata Foundation, 2021.


Reference list

References

Koehl, Dan, (2021). elephant trainer Dan Koehl in Cambodia. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 21 January 2022 at https://www.elephant.se/person.php?id=88. (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:


Selected publications


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Categories elephant trainer | camp | Airavata Elephant Foundation | Koehl family | Born 1959 | People from Cambodia

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