Cologne for children

For health reasons, Hennes VIII will be bid farewell on Sunday at the grand opening of the season. He will also live as a retired mascot in Cologne Zoo. His successor already lives in the zoo.

From Aalen to Arsenal, Bundesliga, 2nd League, Cup and European Cup – since August 2008 Hennes VIII has experienced a lot as a club animal of the 1st FC Cologne. Since the summer, however, it has been clear to those responsible at the Zoo and FC that 12-year-old Hennes VIII will retire for health reasons. “Hennes suffers from age-related arthrosis. As with people with arthrosis, it can be more or less painful, depending on the weather. But it definitely restricts it,” says zoo director Theo Pagel.

FC Managing Director Alexander Wehrle stresses: “We don’t want our club animal to have to stand in the stadium in pain at some point. After the promotion and the change of season, it is now the perfect conclusion and time for Hennes VIII to enjoy his retirement. By moving to the Cologne Zoo in August 2014, Hennes VIII not only lives in a species-appropriate manner, but has also achieved a popularity like no other billy goat in FC history. And he will continue to live as a former mascot on the Clemenshof in Cologne Zoo and will be open to all Cologne residents, especially the children, of course.

teenager with long horns

The decision to switch was simplified by the fact that a suitable successor was available. Hennes IX. was born on 24 February 2018 at the Biolandhof Dörmann in Petershagen-Ilse (near Minden) and has been living in Cologne Zoo since 10 August 2018. Accordingly, he has all the necessary vaccinations and veterinary prerequisites to leave the zoo for his performances and return there without quarantine measures. Hennes IX. is a still uncastrated goat of the breed “Bunte Deutsche Edelziege”, a traditional but meanwhile threatened domestic animal breed.

Visually, Hennes IX. with his longer horns reminds us more of Hennes I., the bock that 1. FC Köln received as a present from Circus Williams on 13 February 1950. It will be noticeably bigger than its predecessor Hennes VIII “Since it is almost in its teenage years, Hennes IX. will grow and become stronger,” says Theo Pagel.

The handover of Hennes VIII. to Hennes IX. will take place at the season opening of the 1st FC Cologne. Thus a special Bock gets his farewell on the big stage in front of tens of thousands of FC fans.

Questions and Answers on the Hennes Change

Can Hennes VIII no longer exercise his office?

Yes, he could. However, all sides would like to avoid that the welfare of the animal has to be weighed against the desire to bring Hennes VIII to the stadium sometime during the season due to the advancing arthrosis. Therefore, we preferred to decide in favour of a change at an early stage.

Does “job loss” have a negative impact on Hennes VIII?

No, he will continue to live in the zoo and has it very well at Clemenshof. He’s used to the bets on the match days, but he won’t miss them to be happy.

Why was Hennes IX. not determined by member election or similar, but by Zoo and FC?

In addition to the aesthetic demands placed on an FC club animal in terms of size, coat colour, horns, etc., the animal health aspect is particularly important. Not every animal is suitable. Since Hennes IX. lives in the zoo, he must not only be absolutely fit himself, but must also not carry any diseases or contagious risks that could affect other animals in the zoo. All this cannot be guaranteed with an external buck without further ado. It is a fortunate coincidence that the perfect successor according to the mentioned criteria already lives in the zoo. Hennes IX. is a young, noble and absolutely healthy buck.

Does Hennes IX need to be neutered?

Basically this will be necessary, because non-castrated goats are too wild and smell-intensive after a certain age to be used at public events with children. But at first Hennes IX. should get the opportunity to breed young, so that the FC could possibly have a Hennes pedigree in the future, from which the respective successors could be selected.

Is a living animal at all contemporary as a mascot?

The living billy goat as heraldic animal makes the 1st FC Cologne unmistakable worldwide. Hennes is a figure of identification for the whole city. Children in particular love Hennes and learn a lot about him about a species of domestic animals that is hardly present in Germany. Goats are among mankind’s first farm animals, they have been bred by humans for more than 10,000 years and are adapted to life with and in humans. Accordingly, goats are absolutely suitable for the missions that Hennes completes and do not suffer from it. In addition, Hennes IX. is used to crowds of people through his life in the zoo. “The change from Hennes VIII to Hennes IX shows that FC is also professional and contemporary in its dealings with its living heraldic animal,” says Zoo Director Theo Pagel.

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Christina Cherry
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