Freitag, 04 November 2022 16:22

WIESNER, H. (1993)

Schaukelseil und Elefant.

BONGO, Berlin 22:101-104.


Zur Absperrung von Elefanten und Panzernashörnern hat sich im Münchner Tierpark Hellabrunn ein Schaukelseilsystem bewährt. Es werden Details über Material, Dicke und Anbringung der Seile mitgeteilt.


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Mittwoch, 01 September 2021 14:26

SCHÜRER, U. (2017)

Über Waldelefanten.

Der Zoologische Garten 86 (1-6): 108-166


An attempt is made to provide a survey of the African Forest Elephants kept in various zoological gardens between 1882 and the present. Due to the very mixed quality and reliability of sources, and the difficult question which elephants from the northern part of their range may have been hybrids, I do not offer the data as a table. The two main areas of origin were today‘s Gabon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, specifically the elephant training stations at Api and Gangala-na-Bodio or Wando and Aru. In the elephant training centers, four calves were born in 1930, of which three survived. From Gangala-na-Bodio, Forest Elephants, Savannah Elephants and hybrids between both have been exported. There are also exports for which data are available, but not on their final destination.

I also discuss the possible existence of Pigmy Elephants, coming to the conclusion that there is no proof. Growth tables and photographs of Forest Elephants in zoological gardens offer too little support for the thesis. Studies of the anatomy and the genome and observations of free-living Forest Elephants suggest that Pigmy Elephants do not exist as a taxonomic unit.

In many cases, the health of Forest Elephants kept in zoological gardens was poor. This was largely due to insufficient housing and management, preventing breeding in Europe and in America. This would have been only theoretically possible in a few cases anyway. Most Forest Elephants were kept as single individuals, either alone or together with African Savanna or Asian Elephants. Unlike those kept in the elephant training centers in what was then the Belgian Congo, most Forest Elephants in zoos were short-lived. With the current knowledge of elephant management, a new start in keeping and breeding Forest Elephants could be made outside their native home. They are critically endangered due to loss of habitat and severe poaching.


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Donnerstag, 24 Mai 2018 20:03

BEHR, B.V. (2009)

Biotechnologische Möglichkeiten zur Beeinflussung des Nachkommengeschlechts bei Nashorn und Elefant.
The biotechnological potential for manipulating offspring sex in the rhinoceros and the elephant.

Dr. med. ved. Dissertation

126 Seiten

Leibniz-Institut für Zoo- und Wildtierforschung (IZW) im Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Leitung: Dr. Robert Hermes
Zoo Hannover und Taronga Zoo (Australien)

Ganze Arbeit


All extant rhinoceros and elephant species are endangered in the wild; yet urgently needed captive breeding to stabilise world populations of some species turns out to be a substantial challenge. One key issue in captive breeding is the unwanted high proportion of male offspring, a serious problem particularly in very small populations. If manipulating offspring sex was a feasible, successful and safe option, a higher number of females could be produced. This would accelerate population growth, thereby significantly improving the viability of populations and thus the conservation of these impressive animals. The ability to select sex would be especially useful in species close to extinction such as the northern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) with only two remaining female breeding candidates, worldwide. To date, the only reliable method to select offspring sex is the Beltsville sperm-sorting technology in combination with artificial insemination (AI) or in vitro fertilisation (IVF). This technique is based on flow cytometric separation of X and Ychromosome bearing spermatozoa in relation to their DNA content.

The aim of this study was to determine the feasibility of spermatozoa from elephants and rhinoceroses for flow cytometrical sex-sorting and to conduct basic investigations on sperm sex-sorting in these megaherbivores by exploring and establishing species-specific sorting conditions. First, the theoretical sortability of the spermatozoa was established through determination of the sperm sorting index (SSI). This index is calculated by multiplying the difference in relative DNA content between X and Y- chromosome bearing spermatozoa (as calculated by the flow cytometer) with the profile area of the sperm head. The resulting SSI values indicated that spermatozoa from the African savannah elephant (Loxodonta africana) deliver best preconditions for successful sex-sorting in the flow cytometer, followed by those of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). The general sortability of spermatozoa from the examined rhinoceros species [black (Diceros bicornis), white (Ceratotherium simum) and Indian rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis] was shown to be very similar among each other and lower when compared to the elephant species or to livestock.

Second, basic parameters for flow cytometric sex-sorting of spermatozoa from the black and the white rhinoceros and the Asian elephant were determined. Species-specific semen extenders, suitable for sex-sorting, and an appropriate DNA staining protocol (suitable amount of stain, incubation time and temperature) were developed. Sperm sex-sorting of rhinoceros spermatozoa thereby turned out to be challenging. Using the methods developed here, successful sex-sorting spermatozoa into specific X and Y- chromosome bearing populations produced high purity (94 %) but the sperm quality after sorting (sperm integrity: 42.0 ± 5.4 %; sperm motility: 11.5 ± 6.1 %) and the sorting efficiency (300 – 700 sperm/s) are still low. The high viscosity of rhinoceros ejaculates strongly interferes with DNA staining and sorting. The main component of the viscous fraction, a glycosilated protein with a molecular weight of 250 kDa molecular weight (most likely originating from the bulbourethral gland), was characterised via gel electophoresis and mass spectrometry. Investigating the liquefaction of the seminal plasma, the addition of the enzymes α-amylase and collagenase was shown to significantly decrease the viscosity without affecting sperm motility or integrity. In initial trials of enzyme addition to rhinoceros sperm samples that were too viscous for a processing by the flow cytometer, viscosity was reduced sufficiently enough to sort, indicating that enzyme treatment might allow better use of rhino ejaculates for sex-sorting.

The sex-sorting protocol developed for the Asian elephant provided very good results for post-sorting sperm quality (sperm integrity: 64.8 ± 3.2 %; motility: 70.8 ± 4.4 %) and purity (94.5 ± 0.7 %) and a reasonable sorting efficiency (1,945.5 ± 187.5 sperm/s). A successful protocol for cryopreservation of Asian elephant spermatozoa was also developed (post-thaw sperm integrity: 52.0 ± 5.8 %) by optimising the cryopreservation protocol (sperm handling pre- and post-cryopreservation, composition of cryomedium) and employing the directional freezing technology. Best post-thaw sperm quality was achieved using a two-step dilution of freshly collected and centrifuged spermatozoa in Blottner’s Cryomedia (285 mOsmol/kg) containing 16 % of egg yolk and a final glycerol concentration of 7 % before freezing. Spermatozoa were slowly cooled to 4 – 5°C and cryop reserved in large volumes of 2.5 or 8 ml at a concentration of 150 x 106 sperm/ml.

In the Asian elephant, the results of these studies have already permitted the use of sexsorted spermatozoa for AI. The sorting protocol appears to be technically reliable. However, AI using sex-sorted Asian elephant sperm has not yet produced any gestation. Regarding all the rhinoceros species, the poor post-sort sperm motility and integrity as well as the sorting efficiency have not yet enabled the application of sex-sorted spermatozoa to be used for AI at present, but their use in IVF may still be feasible.

This is the first study to explore the potential of flow cytometric sex-sorting of spermatozoa from several species of rhinoceroses and elephants. In terms of its practical value, the developed protocols are ready to be applied in elephants, whereas in the rhinoceros species further research is likely to be required. The results demonstrate the potential of the developed techniques and provide a promising base for the future use of the technology in the conservation management of the endangered megaherbivores.



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Determining Connections between the Daily Lives of Zoo Elephants and Their Welfare: An Epidemiological Approach.

PLoS ONE 11(7): e0158124. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0158124


Concerns about animal welfare increasingly shape people’s views about the acceptability of keeping animals for food production, biomedical research, and in zoos. The field of animal welfare science has developed over the past 50 years as a method of investigating these concerns via research that assesses how living in human-controlled environments influences the behavior, health and affective states of animals. Initially, animal welfare research focused on animals in agricultural settings, but the field has expanded to zoos because good animal welfare is essential to zoos’ mission of promoting connections between animals and visitors and raising awareness of conservation issues. A particular challenge for zoos is ensuring good animal welfare for long-lived, highly social species like elephants. Our main goal in conducting an epidemiological study of African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephant welfare in 68 accredited North American zoos was to understand the prevalence of welfare indicators in the population and determine the aspects of an elephant’s zoo environment, social life and management that are most important to prevent and reduce a variety of welfare problems. In this overview, we provide a summary of the findings of the nine papers in the collection titled: Epidemiological Investigations of North American Zoo Elephant Welfare with a focus on the life history, social, housing, and management factors found to be associated with particular aspects of elephant welfare, including the performance of abnormal behavior, foot and joint problems, recumbence, walking rates, and reproductive health issues. Social and management factors were found to be important for multiple indicators of welfare, while exhibit space was found to be less influential than expected. This body of work results from the largest prospective zoo-based animal welfare study conducted to date and sets in motion the process of using science-based welfare benchmarks to optimize care of zoo elephants.

Link zum Volltext:



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Donnerstag, 14 Juni 2018 10:24

SEIBOLD, P. (2000)

Vergleichende Untersuchung ausgewählter Zoologischer Gärten bezüglich der Haltung von Elefanten.


ca. 25 Seiten

Europa-Gymnasium Wörth am Rhein
Betreuung: Annette Kehry
Verschiedene Zoos in Deutschland

Zusammenfassung: siehe hier



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Donnerstag, 14 Juni 2018 09:44

RAASCH, J. (2009)

Verhaltensbeobachtung an Elefanten im Zoo - ein Thema für die Schule?

Wissenschaftliche Hausarbeit

ca. 111 Seiten plus Anhang

Pädagogische Hochschule Heidelberg
Referent: Prof. Dr. Christoph Randler
Zoo Heidelberg

Zusammenfassung: siehe hier



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Donnerstag, 14 Juni 2018 12:47

RÜBEL, A. & ZINGG, R. (2015)

Kaeng Krachan Elefantenpark für Asiatische Elefanten (Elephas maximus Linnaeus, 1758) im Zoo Zürich.

Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park for Asian elephants (Elephas maximus Linnaeus, 1758) at Zürich Zoo

Der Zoologische Garten 84, 1–2: 61–74


Mehr Raum für die Elefanten, mehr Nähe für die Besucher: Der neue Kaeng Krachan Elefantenpark markiert einen weiteren Meilenstein im Zoo Zürich. Während sich die Elefanten vielseitiger in der so genannten „protected contact“ Haltung bewegen, soziale Kontakte pflegen und sogar schwimmen können, sind die Zoobesucher so nahe am Tier dran wie nie zuvor.

Seinen Namen hat der neue Elefantenpark vom Kaeng Krachan Nationalpark in Thailand. Der Zoo Zürich unterstützt dort ein Projekt zum Schutz Asiatischer Elefanten. Wichtiger Teil des Projekts ist die Entschärfung des „Human-Elephant-Conflict“, des Konfliktes zwischen Bauern und Elefanten.

Der Einsatz des Zoo Zürich für den Kaeng Krachan Nationalpark zeigt sich in der Gestaltung der Anlage und den integrierten edukativen Elementen und Aktivitätsprogrammen des neuen Elefantenparks. In der Anlage wird ein Beobachtungsturm mit einem Alarmzaun gezeigt, wie ihn die Thailändischen Bauern nutzen, um ihre Felder rund um den Park vor Zerstörung zu nutzen. Eine Elefantenspur, die auf eine zerstörte Bauernhütte hinführt, zeigt auf, welche Schäden die Tiere in einer Nacht anrichten können.



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Donnerstag, 14 Juni 2018 16:58

EAZA Elephant TAG (2005)

Management Guidelines for the Welfare of Zoo Animals - Elephant.

36 Seiten. EAZA, Amsterdam.


Elephants are kept in zoos as part of an overriding conservation mission so that they are in actively managed breeding programmes. This may mean that non-breeding elephants are kept at some zoos to ensure maximization of the capacity for elephant breeding zoos. Their presence enables progressive educational activities and demonstrates links with field conservation projects and benign scientific research, leading to continuous improvements in breeding and welfare standards.

Zoos have a duty of care: that standards of husbandry practices, housing, health and welfare management are humane and appropriate to the intelligence, social behaviour, longevity and size of elephants. All zoos should aim to continuously improve welfare standards.
Zoos have a moral and legal responsibility to ensure the safety of visitors and staff.

Zoos must continually assess their performance against the EAZA Elephant Management Policy with its defined standards and procedures, in order to demonstrate legal compliance and address legitimate public concerns. The policy documents will be reviewed annually and comments can be submitted at any time by members to one of the EEP Coordinators for consideration.

The goal of this policy statement is the ongoing well-being of elephants in controlled environments in European collections. Furthermore these recommendations offer a tool to all elephant keeping institutions for improving their standards as old keeping regimes are phased out over the years and with the aging of individual elephants.

All sections of this document are intended as exemplary and make no claim to be comprehensive.



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Donnerstag, 14 Juni 2018 08:15


Thermografische Ermittlung physiologischer Wärmeprofile und pedografische Untersuchungen an den Extremitäten sowie Haltungsanalysen beim Asiatischen Elefanten (Elephas maximus) in menschlicher Obhut.

Thermographic determination of physiological heat profiles and pedographic examinations on the extremities as well as husbandry analyses of captive Asiatic Elephants (Elephas maximus).


94 Seiten.

Ganzer Text

Veterinärmedizinische Fakultät, Universität Leipzig
Leitung: Prof. Dr. Eulenberger
Zoo Leipzig und weitere Europäische Zoos


Fußkrankheiten sind eine der häufigsten Krankheiten von Elefanten in Zoos und meist schwer nachhaltig zu therapieren, da häufig haltungsbedingt verursacht. Die Thermografie zeigte hier in der Vergangenheit als nicht-invasives, diagnostisches Hilfsmittel vielversprechende Resultate, um Fußkrankheiten früh im Entstehungsprozess zu erkennen. Allerdings fehlen bisher physiologische thermografische Normwerte, die eine breite Anwendung dieser Technik und eine hinreichend objektive Befundung erlauben würden.

Die Pedografie wird in der Humanmedizin schon lange angewandt, um Fehlbelastungen und andere pathologische Zustände am Fuß zu erkennen. Pedografische Untersuchungen an Elefanten wurden bisher nicht durchgeführt, könnten aber wichtige Erkenntnisse über die Druckverteilung am Elefantenfuß und seine Beeinflussung durch Haltungsfaktoren erbringen.

Im Zuge systematisch durchgeführter thermografischer Untersuchungen an 95 Asiatischen Elefanten in europäischen Zoos konnten physiologische Wärmeprofile aller nicht von Fußkrankheiten betroffener Elefanten erstellt werden. Um eine objektivere Befundung zu ermöglichen, wurden dafür definierte Messbereiche an den Füßen festgelegt und deren Temperaturdaten als Wärmekurven für jeden Zeh dargestellt.

Es zeigte sich, dass die Bandbreite von Temperaturen gleicher Messbereiche starken individuellen Schwankungen unterliegt, weshalb eine Befundung nicht anhand absoluter Temperaturwerte erfolgen sollte. So wurden über gleichen Messbereichen unterschiedlicher Elefanten Temperaturunterschiede von bis zu 8 °C festgestellt. Auch die Umgebungsfaktoren während der Untersuchung tragen zu dieser Varianz bei. Bei Umgebungstemperaturen zwischen 17,5 °C und 23 °C stellt sich durch Erhöhung der Außentemperatur um 1 °C eine um 0,5 °C erhöhte Wärmeabstrahlung über der Haut dar. Eine Erhöhung der Luftfeuchte um 1 % verursacht eine um 0,03 °C vermehrte Wärmeabstrahlung. Die Wärmeprofile stellten sich für die Kronsaum- und Hufwandbereiche der Zehen eines Fußes von medial nach lateral in einem parabelförmigen Verlauf dar, wobei die höchsten Temperaturen an den kranialen Zehen gemessen wurden. Die Differenz zwischen Kronsaum- und Hufwandbereichen blieb dabei konstant. Die Temperaturen der Zehenregion oberhalb des Kronsaums folgten nicht dieser Parabelform, lagen aber, außer an der jeweils medialen Seite, konstant unterhalb der Kronsaumtemperaturen. Bei Vergleich mit thermografischen Befunden erkrankter Zehen zeigte sich meist ein starker Anstieg der Zehenregiontemperatur weit über die Kronsaumtemperaturen hinaus, weshalb sich dieses Verhältnis als Indiz für ein akutes Enzündungsgeschehen nutzen lässt.

Ein gleichmäßiges Wärmeprofil, welches möglichst dicht dem in dieser Arbeit entwickelten Profil gleicht und konstante Temperaturdifferenzen zwischen den einzelnen Messbereichen aufweist, ist ein gutes Indiz für einen gesunden Fuß.

Thermografische Befundungen sollten immer mit Hilfe herkömmlicher visueller Auswertung und zusätzlich der Erstellung eines Wärmeprofils vorgenommen werden, um die Subjektivität zu minimieren. Erstmalig wurden in dieser Arbeit drei Elefanten mittels Pedografie untersucht, um Aufschlüsse über die Druckverteilung unter dem Elefantenfuß zu erhalten. Wie bei Menschen und pedografisch vermessenen Rindern fanden sich auch beim Elefanten charakteristische Druckprofile. Druckspitzenwerte tauchten hierbei vor allem im kranialen Bereich der Füße als Druckleiste, aber auch im kaudalen Bereich in Form zweier Druckpfeiler auf. Experimente mit einer Methode zur Simulierung weicheren Untergrundes schienen die Druckspitzenwerte etwas abzuschwächen und das allgemeine Druckprofil einzuebnen, waren aber nur schwer auszuwerten. Die Methode eignet sich ebenso zur Erfassung der tatsächlich belasteten Fläche der Füße, welche sich bei stärkerer Belastung, beispielsweise dreibeinigem Stehen, vergrößerte. Trotz noch einiger methodischer und technischer Probleme, eröffnet sich mit der Pedografie ein sicherlich lohnenswertes Forschungsfeld für weitere Studien, die einen besseren Einblick in die Druckphysiologie des Elefantenfußes gewähren könnten.

Weiterhin wurden in dieser Arbeit Daten der Elefantenhaltungssysteme von 17 besuchten europäischen Zoos, sowie Daten über Häufigkeit und Art der Gliedmaßenkrankheiten und anderer gesundheitlicher Parameter aller 95 untersuchter Elefanten ausgewertet. Hierbei zeigte sich immer noch starker Verbesserungsbedarf im Hinblick auf Innengehegegrößen und die verwendeten Bodenmaterialien. Auch Bewegungsprogramme für den Aufenthalt im Außengehege wurden nur in weniger als der Hälfte der Zoos eingesetzt. Positiv fiel auf, dass die Elefanten in den besuchten Zoos kaum noch angekettet werden und falls doch, nur kurzzeitig zu Untersuchungszwecken. Den Daten der Haltungsanalysen entsprechend, fielen die Auswertungen zur Fußgesundheit aus: Nur 36 % der untersuchten Elefanten litten bisher noch niemals unter Fußerkrankungen. Allein zum Zeitpunkt der Untersuchung wurden bei 27 % der Tiere akute Erkrankungen festgestellt, die unter Behandlung standen. Hierbei handelte es sich hauptsächlich um Abszesse oder andere entzündliche Veränderungen im Bereich des Nagelbetts. Weiterhin wurden 30 % der Elefanten als übergewichtig eingeschätzt und 36 % der Tiere zeigten stereotype Bewegungsmuster.


Foot diseases are one of the most frequent diseases in zoo elephants and usually therapy is difficult due to the diseases often being caused by husbandry conditions. In the recent past thermography used as a non-invasive diagnostic aid showed promising results in detecting foot diseases at an early stage. Thus far, missing data on the physiologic thermographic heat pattern and its influencing factors prevented a wider use of this diagnostic method and a more objective evaluation of its findings.

Pedography has been used commonly in human healthcare for a number of years to detect pathological conditions related to pressure distribution in the foot. In Elephants this diagnostic method has not been used so far, but it might produce important insights into the pressure distribution under the elephant’s foot and the impact of husbandry conditions.

A total of 95 Asiatic Elephants in 17 European zoos were systematically examined using a high resolution thermographic camera and physiologic heat profiles of elephant’s feet without known foot diseases were established. To allow a more objective evaluation of thermographic findings, the feet and toes were divided schematically into defined areas for measurement purposes, based on anatomical features for which the temperature data was then plotted to produce heat curves for each area.

Measurements of temperatures pertaining to similar areas of different elephants showed strong individual fluctuation. Temperature variation was as high as 8 °C in similar areas between elephants. Thus, evaluation of thermographic findings should never be based on absolute temperature readings alone. This strong variation is partly caused by environmental factors during the examination. With environmental temperatures between 17,5 °C and 23 °C, a one degree increase of this temperature will cause a 0,5 °C increase of the heat radiation of the feet. An increase of air humidity by 1 % will cause an increase of 0,03 °C of the measured thermographic heat radiation.

The physiological heat profiles for coronary and hoof wall areas of the toes showed an arched, parable-like shape when plotted from the medial over the cranial to the lateral toes. The highest temperature readings were found on the cranial toes. The difference between coronary and hoof wall temperatures of similar toes were constant all over the foot. The physiological heat profiles of the toe areas above the coronary region did not show this arched shape but stayed below the coronary temperature readings except on the medial toe. On comparison with thermographic findings of inflammated toes, a strong increase of this area above the coronary band was found which exceeded the temperature of the coronary region. This characteristic can be used as an indicator for acute inflammations. A regular heat profile, which resembles closely the physiological heat profile created in this study and which shows constant temperature differences between the defined areas of the single toes, is a good indicator of healthy foot. It is recommended that thermographic examinations always are evaluated using conventional observation of the heat patterns in conjunction with the additional creation of a heat profile to minimize subjectivity by the clinician.

For the first time three elephants were examined in this study using a new pedographic method to gain information on the pressure distribution below the elephant’s foot. As found in humans as well as in pedographically examined cows, the pressure distribution in elephant’s feet showed a characteristic profile. Pressure peaks showed up especially in the cranial area of the foot, possibly the border between sole and pad, as well as in the caudal region in the shape of two pressure pillars. Experiments with a method to simulate softer ground seemed to lower the pressure peaks slightly in favor of a broader distribution, but were very difficult to evaluate, especially considering the small sample size. This method is also suited to register the actual area size put under pressure by the elephant, which was shown to rise under increased pressure, e. g. three legged standing. Despite some encountered methodical and technical problems, pedography of elephants is going to be a very promising field for further scientific studies in order to acquire more information on the physiology of pressure distribution.

Data on husbandry conditions of the 17 visited zoos and as well as data on frequency and type of foot diseases and other health parameters of all 95 examined elephants were also collected and evaluated. A strong need for improvement was observed in terms of enclosure sizes and the surface materials used in indoor enclosures. Also, daily routines to increase activity of the elephants in the outdoor enclosures were found to be carried out only in half of the visited zoos. On a positive note, elephants in the evaluated zoos were hardly ever chained and if so, only for examination purposes. According to the data of the husbandry evaluation the information on the current status of foot health showed the need for improvement: Only in 36 % of the examined elephants foot problems were so far not encountered. On the time of examination 27 % of the animals were found to be under ongoing treatment for foot diseases. Mostly these were abscesses or other inflammated processes in the area of the nail’s laminar tissue. Out of the study sample, 30 % of the elephants were estimated to be overweight and 36 % showed stereotypic movement patterns.



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Donnerstag, 14 Juni 2018 15:38


A Guide to the Addo Elephant National  Park.

66 Seiten. Historische s/w-Fotos, zahlreiche Farbfotos und Aquarelle, Landkarten, 5 Checklisten de rPflanzen und Tiere des Parks.
SANParks. ISBN 086953-021-6.


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© Peter Dollinger, Zoo Office Bern hyperworx