Coming Up Trunks: Elephant Superstud Shows Off His Strength

A superstud bull elephant is amazing zoo fans with his astonishing feats of strength and skill.

African bull elephant Tusker, who sired 13 calves at his previous zoo homes, has become a star attraction at Switzerland's Basel Zoo; not for fatherhood, but for his baffling skills in balancing huge tree trunks in his enclosure.

In videos of his feats, Tusker can be seen delicately manipulating a giant log with his trunk as if it were a toothpick.

Then he carefully hoists it into the air and places it carefully on top of a wooded pole, balancing it so it does not fall back to the ground.

Tusker African elephant at Basel Zoo
The 30-year-old African elephant named Tusker from the Basel Zoo, located in Switzerland. Zoo Basel/Zenger

Tusker joined Basel Zoo in April 2021.

As a bull elephant, he plays a very important role and is responsible for increasing the birth rate of the European zoo population.

African elephant numbers in European zoos are low, and his keepers say it is therefore important to create a breeding program.

Tusker was responsible for a baby boom at his previous zoos.

At German Zoo Wuppertal, he fathered 13 calves with four different mothers.

In 2019, Tusker then moved to the Netherlands to Rhenen. There, too, he fulfilled his duty impeccably, and he is now considered one of the most successful breeding bulls in Europe.

"In recent months, we have often seen Tusker demonstrate this balancing act," said Corinne Moser, 40, head of communications at Basel Zoo.

As to the motivation for the stunts, she said: "We think of our animals as wild animals and don't want to start analyzing them psychologically.

"We believe, however, that for Tusker, it is a game and an occupation."

Now keepers in Basel hope that Tusker will go down just as well with his future mates before his next move, which is set to be a trip to Spain. They did not say when he would be packing his trunk to head south but did say that it was likely to be soon.

Aged just 30, Tusker is in his prime, as African elephants usually live up to 70 years.

For the visitors to the zoo, the elephant is now the new star.

"I received a video from one of the zoo employees in which the visitors clapped for Tusker," Moser said.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.