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 Post subject: Some questions about Addo Ellies
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:58 am
Posts: 7
Hi
We were in Addo in october 2011, and I am now sorting through the pictures, and making some notes in the family album.
Several questions came up
1. Are female -ellies supposed to ahev tuskes? There was a note on one of the boards in the information center that there are only 13 cows with tusks. It was written that this is because of isolation. Could anyone elaborate on that?

2. I read that the ellies leave in female-dominated herds (not sure if herd id the right word), and that male are mostly alone. We saw quite a lot of males in the herds in Addo - are all those males still young ? some of them were really big!

3. We saw some ellies with different colour: even black (please see photo attached) - is this some kind of mud?

https://picasaweb.google.com/1111008613 ... 5732888274

Thanks
Yanina


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 Post subject: Re: Some questions about Addo Ellies
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 4:15 pm
Posts: 808
Hi Yanina and welcome to the forum

Tusklessness is a naturally occuring phenomenon in elephant populations. in the Addo population, we see it on a greater scale - all the females except a few (13) - are tuskless. This occurred because of the very small genetic pool from which this population grew. In the original Addo elephant population, there were already a few tuskless elephants and hunters had probabaly singled out the big tuskers in previous centuries.
We have introduced 8 elephant bulls from Kruger NP in previous years to try to improve the genetic vareity in the population. This is not necessarily going to lead to more tusked cows showing up in the population, but it might be one of the effects.
Tusklessness does not seem to have any impact on the physical condition of the elephant cows, it doesn't disadvantage them in any way.

Elephants do have a matriarchal society and the majority of each family group is made up of related females and their calves/subadults. Bulls usually leave the herd around puberty (about 12-15 yrs old) but they will often come back to their family group or other family groups to socialise and to mate with cows in oestrus when they are older.

Elephants mud bath frequently, especially in the hot summer as it is a way of cooling down and helps to rid their skin of parasites. The different colours you see are as a result of different soil types/compositions. Mud may also dry a different colour than its wet state. Sometimes you will see dark mud, other times red/orange mud (people often call these ellies the "orange elephants") and sometimes almost white/grey mud.

_________________
Megan Taplin
Communications Manager: Frontier Region


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 Post subject: Re: Some questions about Addo Ellies
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:58 am
Posts: 7
Hi Megan,
thanks very much for the answers and welcome.
We enjoyed very much our stay in Addo.
The visitor center contains a lot of interesting information.
I am still going over my notes :)

thanks
Yanina


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