Munich Zoo: Otto the elephant likes to eat bananas


+++ Baby Otto is developing fantastically well +++

Munich – This baby weighs 694 kilos! Elephant child Otto from Hellabrunn is just 16 months old and already a heavyweight. The little pachyderm likes to eat bananas, grapes and fresh bread. Otherwise also rice, hay, branches, celery and cucumbers.

If Otto spots his animal keepers, he quickly comes running “and already opens his mouth so that we can put his reward directly on his tongue,” says zoo keeper and head of the elephant house, Daniel Materna (31), to BILD. Before he is allowed to clean his treats, Materna checks Otto’s teeth and mucous membranes.

Otto lives with his family of five elephants in the Munich zoo

Photo: Gemma Borrell/Tierpark Hellabrunn

Little Otto lives in the shared zoo with his parents, Mama Elephant Temi and Papa Gajendra, and his aunts Panang and Mangala. Materna: “He watches everything Gajendra does and interacts with him a lot. Sometimes the little man gets annoying, but Gajendra is very caring and patient.”

The little rascal likes to play with a tractor tire, “which he throws back and forth with dedication and perseverance,” says Materna. And Otto loves to splash around! “Playing with mud, clay and water is the greatest thing for him. He just discovers everything and tries everything.”

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When fully grown, the Asian bull elephant can reach a shoulder height of up to 3.5 meters and weigh six tons. Materna: “Asian elephants in captivity can live up to 60-70 years.”

Animal keeper Daniel Materna: “Just watching Otto on the facilities here with us is simply a real pleasure.  He simply discovers everything and simply tries everything.

Animal keeper Daniel Materna: “Just watching Otto on the facilities here with us is simply a real pleasure. He simply discovers everything and simply tries everything.”

Photo: Stefan M. Prager

Animal keeper Daniel Materna:

The little pachyderm means a lot to me! It was my first elephant birth that I was allowed to accompany. That will always be something very special for me.

Otto – the picture book

Otto is now available as a photo book! The photo book captures unique moments in the bull elephant’s young life: the first trip outdoors, the eagerly awaited family reunion with Papa Gajendra and the first birthday party in Hellabrunn.

The photo book is available in the Hellabrunn zoo shop for 10 euros. The zoo donates the proceeds to the protection project for Sumatran elephants of the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) in the Indonesian national park Bukit Tiga Puluh.

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