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Past Tusker - Duke

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wildtuinman
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Re: Duke

Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:29 am

Duke was helluva illusive.

I remember our Operation Duke mission in July 2006. We drove that area to boredom! We walked kilometers and we never got to see him. And then on the last evening a guy overheard our conversation in the communal bathroom and invited to come see his photos he had taken of Duke just that afternoon. :wall:

He was seen in the area we had searched the day before. :twisted: Murphy loved Duke.

That next day, our last, we launched the biggest search operation. Two vehicles, two different areas and no sign of the big guy. We saw something like 7 leopards on the last day! That's how hard we searched. :lol: :lol:

I figured out what was the missing ingredient all along in order to find him. Two years later. A can of Coke half filled with Oom Ricky Louw. :lol: :lol:

Now I want to go watch my Operation Duke dvd Wild@Heart produced for us. :D :D
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Re: Duke

Unread postby Mads » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:01 am

So sad to see him go.... :( ... but I was one of the prevelidge ones to have met him 3 times! :pray: :) We can celebrate his life for all the joy he brought us all!!

RIP our gentle giant!!
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Re: Duke

Unread postby Elsa » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:15 am

My last and best sighting of Duke was with JEG in her OSV on the S28 on the 29th May last year when he walked between us and the vehicle in front of us and even stood for a moment and looked at us when he was literally almost within touching distance, then crossed in front of us and carried on grazing next to us.
Not a single moment of aggression.
I don't think I took a breath the whole time, a special moment to be sure and one I will treasure.

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Re: Duke

Unread postby Andy Evans » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:33 am

I have been in tears since reading the news. It feel like one of my own pets has passed on. Saw Duke far away in April 2011. Never had the privilege of meeting him close up in spite of searching. :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: But on a happier note we saw elephants that judging by the tusks that were growing and the size of the elephant MUST be his offspring.

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KNP's Duke dies of old age

Unread postby Lesego » Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:50 pm

KNP’S OLDEST TUSKER DUKE DIES OF OLD AGE

One of the oldest tuskers in the Kruger National Park (KNP), Duke, passed away on October 1, 2011 seemingly of old age.

The elephant was discovered lying on its side along Makambeni spruit near west of the S28 road, five kilometres from Crocodile Bridge Camp. Crocodile Bridge Section Ranger, Neels van Wyk became worried when he noticed that there was no movement from Duke’s collar signal for a few days, went to investigate; only to find Duke’s five day old carcass along the Makambeni stream.

“Although Duke was old, we are very saddened by this magnificent bull’s passing as he was very popular and had avid followers who always asked about him. In the past few years, there had been enquiries as to whether Duke was still with us; so when news of his passing came through we assumed it was rumours doing the rounds again” said William Mabasa, HOD: Public Relations.

Duke had already lost both his tusks and in 2010 was fitted with a tracking collar in an effort to check up on him and track his whereabouts. He was estimated to have lived in the KNP bush for over 55 years. As is normal practice, the head, tusk remains and possibly skeletons would be recovered and then stored for possible display purposes.

Emerging tuskers are named after previous rangers and field rangers who have made notable contributions to conservation and the KNP. Duke was named after the ranger, Thomas Duke who was based at Lower Sabie between 1903 and 1923. His home range was between Lower Sabie and Crocodile Bridge Rest Camps but could also be seen roaming around Tshokwane and Metsi Metsi Trails Camp.

Though the Emerging Tuskers competition has been temporarily suspended, the KNP continues to add new tuskers to its ranks through photographic submissions of guests. Photographs and video material sent in by visitors are used to understand the habits and movements of tuskers in an attempt to learn more about them.

For more information on the tuskers, how and where to submit photos etc, please visit http://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/elephants/ or enquire at the Elephant Museum in Letaba Rest Camp (013 735 6664).
Lesego Nko
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Tel: (012) 426 5202

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Re: Duke

Unread postby DinkyBird » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:08 pm

Sawubona
Dalene

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Re: Duke

Unread postby Leanawel » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:24 pm

:cry: Duke, rest in peace :cry: but your spirit will always be in Kruger.

:cry: :cry: Leana

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Re: Duke

Unread postby Ladyhawke » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:40 pm

Rest in peace, and I hope this thread will not be forgotton.

Duke was (to me) the Kruger's ambassador.Always wanted to find him, and we we did not we felt disappointed. He may be dead, but he will never be forgotton or ever leave the park. Hope to see his tusks in Letaba soon. :cry: :cry: :cry:
Dec 2012 - Hluhlwe Umfolozi then Swaziland then KNP

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Re: Duke

Unread postby robertwintle » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:46 pm

How sad to hear the news of Duke's passing. It was my biggest wish to see the GENTLE GIANT - I am now 56 and have never seen him till the 9th September 2011 (wish granted by our Father in heaven) 3 days before my 56th birthday less than a month before his passing.

You can go and look at the photo of Duke I took when I saw him (posted at the public sightings on the 21 September)

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Re: Duke

Unread postby Happy Feet » Fri Oct 07, 2011 4:49 pm

A work friend sent me the link to the topic of Duke today, saying she wonders if this is not the same bull I mentioned to her just earlier this week. You see, my travel partner and I were utterly amazed when we saw the same old bull nearly a year apart (first on 22 March 2010 and then again earlier this year on 27 April 2011) in the same vicinity on both visits.... I've compared our photographs to the one posted by Nannie at great length, and I am more than convinced it was Duke that we encountered. If so, we were very lucky indeed. May his magnificent, intelligent spirit be rested.

XX Happy Feet

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Re: Duke

Unread postby Mellory » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:32 pm

So sad. Amazing how much he felt like part of our life even though never having "met" him what a great legend.

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Re: Duke

Unread postby Boorgatspook » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:47 pm

RIP Duke! :cry: :cry:
May your legend lives on for many more decades to come !

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Re: Duke

Unread postby Nannie » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:00 pm

What terribly bad and sad news. We saw Duke on a number of times. The first will remain as one of my most memorable wildlife sightings.
Thanks for the privilege.

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Re: Duke

Unread postby Jaco V » Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:20 pm

Goodbye Big One.

Words cant describe the feelings that went through me since the I got the news of Duke's passing.

All I can say is that it was the final straw of an already bad day.

I never had the priviledge to meet Duke. He will now forever remain elusive.

But thanks to him I have wonderfull memories and friends. WTM spoke about our Duke trip. I agree DB, the old bull probably stood behind a tree having a good chuckle at those luckless musketeers driving in circles around him. Heads in their coolerboxes, wondering where he could be.

We salute you Duke. Thank you for the memories!
Jakes

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Re: Duke

Unread postby DinkyBird » Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:25 pm

:wink:

Reading this topic, it seems if one had met him, or not, he certainly touched many lives.
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