Saturday, January 24, 2009

Elephant brands

Tywcross elephant, Minbu above
Courtesy of Guillaume Rebis, Whipsnead Zoo

Koln elephant, Khaing Lwin Htoo above
Krefeld elephant, Yeetoh below
Photos courtesy of Fredrik Mohlin, Vienna Zoo

The elephant above with trainer Wolfgang Nehring was the one I was referencing earlier that I had seen pictures of(she was recently moved to the Belfast Zoo). What is so odd about all of these brands is that they are different. The purpose of a brand is for ownership identification. In cattle an upright B for example is a different owner then a B laying sideways. or a B with a bar under it or a B tipped sideways. I asked about the brands on Axel's elephants on the "history channel" over a year ago, and the best answer was they came from a logging company in Burma. That is all the information there is. Gulliaume adds all the elephants above came from a Bermese camp between 12 and 16 years ago. Axel's and GGW's were received longer ago then that. There is virtually nothing online about the practice of branding elephants, so who knows if it is standard practice, or done by only one company, or even for what reason. Note the hand stand prop, in the lower right, permanently mounted in the enclosure at Krefeld. Their elephant shows were quite popular.


Guillaume.R said...

As Ryan said about Mr Van Den Brink in the other post, it was in the 90's, a bit earlier than what I said. I was wrong by saying 12-16 years ago ,I apologizes about it

Guillaume.R said...

Dear Wade, I found that link :

Page 14 : MTE (Myanmar Timber Enterprise)
... All of the elephants had been 'branded' by the mark of the MTE and their registration number which was burned into the skin by some kind of acid. ...

Guillaume R

Wade G. Burck said...

I still think that is imcomplete information. Ringlings came in in 1981, and had no numbers. But they all had the exact same star except, one or two had it on both hips. That is not branding protocol. Either they all have numbers or not? One star or two?
Ven Den Brink? Was he not involved in a major sea mammal scandal, with dolphins over in Germany or Belgium, or another European country?

DanKoehl said...

Mr van den Brink had supplied elephants to european Zoos for many years, when he in 1988, 1989 and 1990 imported elephants from Burma, together with mahouts who integrated the elephants at future byers.

Hers the notes I have on
(where you can follow the different elephants to their present locations)

Often refered to as Soest Zoo in studbooks, Mr F. van den Brink imported a large number of elephants, especially in the late nineties, from Myanmar (Burma). Some 22 animals were sold in 1989, and another 7 in 1990, all of them claimed to be captive bred, but without any significant confirmation. London-based Environmental Investigation Agency castigated Dutch authorities and asked the European Community Commission (the entity responsible for administering EC regulations and CITES) to implement a complete ban on import of elephants from Myanmar.

Nevertheless, Mr van den Brink supplied europe with elephant breeding material, which today my be upto 80% of the breeding material. Without those imports of new blood from Burma, europe would have had problems to keep the numbers in Zoos at level.

It was claimed that they were all captive-born, and in some cases this may very well have been the case.

Burma has obviously had a rater developed breeding of elephants, although a lot of them probably came over the border to Thailand,

Anyhow, all those elephants came later than the Ringling elephants.

If the records are correct, most (or all) of those burmese elephants was imported by Firma Ruhe in Alfeld, rather than by van den Brink, and the only thing they have in common is the origin from Burmese working camps.

Wade G. Burck said...

If he did break the law, I think you are really going out on a limp and taking a real stretch to justify it, with saving the species in captivity. Some may justify as just as reasonable, Hitler's solution to overpopulation.
Yes Ringlings were much earlier, and that's why I don't think a brand from one company answers it, particularly as they are different brands. How does marking to come back and get at a later date when they have matured, so you don't have to spend your nickle raising them sound to you? "We have an order for 6 three year old elephants,Sir?" "Go to the Yuka Yuka forest, we have 9 there and get 6." There is a reason the brands are not uniform and haphazard in their depth.