Just Another Guy with Opinions

Is Ninio The Elephant Gay

Posted by shadmia on April 11, 2009


Officials at the zoo in Poznan, western Poland, claim to have built the largest elephant house in Europe at a cost of 37 million zlotys ($11 million). However one of the residents, Ninio – a 10-year-old male African Bush elephant – has caught the eye of  Michal Grzes. He thinks Ninio is gay.

Michal Grzes, a counselor from Poznan, is a member of the Law and Justice Party. Two of the party’s most high-profile members, the identical twin brothers Jaroslaw and Lech Kaczynski, have been outspoken in their homophobic views. Lech is the current president of Poland.

‘We didn’t pay 37 million zlotys for the largest elephant house in Europe to have a gay elephant live there. We were supposed to have a herd, but as Ninio prefers male friends over females how will he produce offspring?’

This is not Ninio’s first time at the Poznan zoo. He has been making the rounds. Nino was sent to Warsaw Zoo, where he lived for three years, until his aggressive behavior led to his transfer to a zoo in Budapest before he once again returned to Poznan.

He seems to have a problem with female elephants displaying very aggressive behavior towards them. He hits them and even pushes them into pools. However his attitude to male elephants is described as “affectionate.”

“He only liked his buddies and hit the cows with his trunk, and was very disrespectful on the whole,” Michal Grzes said.

Grzes said that if Nino does not alter his behavior and breed, he will become “dead weight” for the zoo. He is currently being kept separate from the other animals.


Not everyone shares Grzes’ opinion. Male elephants do engage in same-sex bonding and mounting. Such encounters are often associated with affectionate interactions, such as kissing and trunk intertwining.

Male elephants, who live apart from the general flock, often form ‘companionships‘, consisting of an older individual and one or sometimes two younger, attendant males with sexual behavior being an important part of the social dynamic.

According to the head of the Poznan zoo Ninio may be too young to decide whether he prefers males or females as elephants only reach sexual maturity at 14. He is still young and will soon be introduced to a female from the Netherlands to try and tempt him into breeding.

All this fuss over Ninio has had one good side effect for the zoo – visitors are now said to be flocking to the zoo the catch a glimpse of Ninio, Polish media reported.

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