Skip to Content

Pink Elephants

Find, identify and discuss the animals of all the SANParks

Moderator: RosemaryH

Petrus
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2005 1:23 pm
Location: Kempton Park: wens dit was KNP

Elephant

Unread postby Petrus » Wed Jan 12, 2005 2:08 pm

Hi

I think this is a very intresting story: African sun puts albino jumbo at risk

Details of the story. Visit above for photo:

The little one kept on rolling in the mud, as if trying to disguise its strange colour with the dirt.

The baby elephant, spotted among a herd in the southern part of the Kruger National Park, could be an albino or white elephant.

The baby is believed to be about a month old, and an older sibling and its mother seemed very protective of it.

Sadly, however, it is most probably doomed as it would be susceptible to the harsh African sun.

'As they were drinking I noticed a very light one'
Odette Joubert and her husband, who have a house on the banks of the Crocodile River near Hectorspruit overlooking the Kruger Park, came across the little elephant.

"Yesterday morning (Monday) we were having breakfast when I saw the herd of elephants come to drink. As they were drinking I noticed a very light one, then they disappeared."

"Later we were lounging around the pool, and I saw the same herd and I grabbed my camera," Joubert said.

She said the herd came so close to the fence she was able to take pictures which clearly show the elephant's pink eyes and white eyelashes.

Joubert said the elephants, especially the mother and an older sibling were very protective.

"The baby kept on trying to roll in mud. Maybe he knows he is different," she said.

Joubert said she had spoken to a ranger in the park who said that albino elephants were very rare and that they might try and collar one of the herd to keep track of the group.

"They are very, very rare," said Dr Ian Whyte specialist scientist for large herbivores in the park.

"Sometimes you see some elephants with patches, particularly behind their ears, that don't have pigment. Some time ago I saw a newborn, who was pink, from a helicopter when we were doing a census.

"Maybe they are more common than we think they are but they just don't survive. It would struggle in the African sun," he said. - Environment Reporter.

User avatar
Twiga
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2005 9:15 pm
Location: In the kitchen doing dishes!

Rare White Elephant

Unread postby Twiga » Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:21 pm

A white baby elephant has been spotted in the Crocodile Bridge area. It was spotted for the first time in January. It was thought that he would not have much of a chance for survival as experts believed that he would succumb to the harsh African sun. Due to him having no pigmentation, he would be more susceptible to the sun. Apparently he is doing fine and he has been spotted fairly regularly by a ranger who works in the area. Quite amazing! :shock: Everybody going to KNP in the next couple of months must keep an eye open for him!
Krugerholic!!

The world belongs to the energetic

Tarryn C
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:48 pm

Pink Elephants

Unread postby Tarryn C » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:06 pm

How often can one use the phrase "I saw a pink elephant" without referring to the heavy night of partying that they had the night before?

Yesterday, at approximately 16:20 I was crossing the Olifants River Bridge heading towards Satara when that exact phrase came out of my mouth. There was a relatively large matriarchal herd that had come down to the river for a swim and after watching them for a while, I noticed a very lightly coloured elephant calf. After looking through my binoculars and checking and double checking that I wasn't seeing things, I realised that I was looking at a pink elephant, literally.

After doing some research on this phenomenon, I have realised just how uncommon it is to see such a thing and also realised how lucky I was to be in the right place at the right time.

One question that I have is about the chances of survival of this young calf? Have the pink elephant calves that have been spotted in the park before been monitored and did any of them ever reach sub-adult/adult status?
I realise that in the harsh South African sun, having an unpigmented skin can not at all be beneficial to survival but I hope in my heart of hearts that this little calf is a success story!

If anyone else has seen this calf or could provide regular updates as to its progress, that would be wonderful.

Have a great week!
* T * :)

Image

User avatar
Meandering Mouse
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
FAC Member (2013)
Posts: 15911
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:47 pm
Location: meandering between senility and menopause

Re: Pink Elephants

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:59 am

A very warm welcome to you Tarryn and what a wonderful first post. :D

Now that is really cute. It would be interesting to hear from other mites, but I should imagine that Lions are not going to tackle an eliie calf in a hurry with big mama around.

Very interesting photo. 8)
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

User avatar
RosemaryH
Forum Assistant
Forum Assistant
FAC Member (2013)
Posts: 3873
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:06 am
Location: Boons NW

Re: Pink Elephants

Unread postby RosemaryH » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:27 am

Hi Tarryn - welcom to the forums :gflower:

Very interesting, thanks for posting. :thumbs_up:
Rose
Please read the green gate permit you will receive on entry to the park and stick to the rules.
Remember By Feeding Any Wildlife You Are Signing Their Death Warrant, As They Become Aggressive.

User avatar
Philip1
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Award: Quiz Whiz of the Year (2014)
Posts: 6477
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:58 am
Location: Far South in South Africa.

Re: Pink Elephants

Unread postby Philip1 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:38 am

:) Hi Tarryn and welcome :)

:clap: What a cute little "Pinky" :thumbs_up: .....and i'm sober :whistle:
"Lose yourself in Nature and find Peace!" (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
UNITE AGAINST POACHING...What we protect,
do not let poachers take it away!

Extinction is forever and survival is up to---every last one of us!

User avatar
Grantmissy
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
FAC Member (2013)
Posts: 7496
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:21 am
Location: SA

Re: Pink Elephants

Unread postby Grantmissy » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:01 am

:yaya: Hi Tarryn C that Pinky is indeed "cute" :D and I am also sober :) .

Thanks for telling us this story of the pink elephants :clap: :thumbs_up:
Do not support Circuses that uses wild and other animals to perform circus acts to amuse people

User avatar
lion queen
Forum Assistant
Forum Assistant
Posts: 12790
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:03 pm
Location: Upington RSA

Re: Pink Elephants

Unread postby lion queen » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:53 am

Hi Tarryn C and welcome to the forum!!!!

We also saw a pink calf back in 2007....... :dance: :dance: ..........would be great to know if these calves are monitored.
SANParks Online Fans..........Where passion is pride!

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough - Mae West

User avatar
Trrp-trrrrrrrr
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Award: Funniest/Best Forumite Name (2014)
Award: Forumite of the Year (2014)
Award: Video of the Year (2014)
FAC Member (2013)
Posts: 10222
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:57 pm
Location: 'Incorrect!!.......Need to be in the bush!'

Re: Pink Elephants

Unread postby Trrp-trrrrrrrr » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:10 am

:yaya: Welcome Tarryn C :D

What an unusual and very special sighting...too cute. :clap: :clap:

Thanks for sharing :thumbs_up:
"Listen to the voice of nature, for it holds treasures for you."~ Native American (Huron) Proverb

User avatar
norms
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 963
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:23 pm
Location: All over the place!!

Re: Pink Elephants

Unread postby norms » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:19 am

Ver interesting and thanks for sharing. Lets hope this young one does well - :thumbs_up:
If you want something you never had, do something you have never done.

No to Hotels in Kruger

Every time I get the news that another Rhino has died, a piece of me dies too - Edna the Brave

manicwalker
Posts: 390
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:40 am

Re: Pink Elephants

Unread postby manicwalker » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:59 am

Welcome Tarryn C
What an amazing sighting, :thumbs_up:
BUT lets hope the little darling will survive the heat and sunshine
And that the herd will give extra protection where needed :pray:

User avatar
jekalo
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:48 pm
Location: South Africa

Not drunk but seeing pink elephant,

Unread postby jekalo » Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:22 am

Yesterday I was at the Matambeni bird hide when a small herd of 19 elephant came out of the bush on the opposite side of the river.
The herd contained several young and a couple of babies as well as the adults.
There was a baby pink elephant in the group.
At first I thought it was just coloration from rolling in the sand but on closer inspection through my 600 mm lens, I determined that it was indeed a natural pink pigmentation of the entire body of the little one and it was particularly bright behind the ears when it flapped them.
The baby was accompanied at all times by what I assume was its mother and an older sibling.
The pink one tended to stay in the shade of the mother and kept for the most part between the two when walking.
When they got to the river and crossed it, the adults gathered around the pink one to protect it from a large croc that shadowed the group.
The water is deep at that point and all you could see were trunks projecting out of the water and the little one almost riding on the backs of the adults. Image
3H4A1837 by mrfitzhugh, on Flickr
I will try to post pictures to share this sighting.Image
3H4A1845 by mrfitzhugh, on Flickr
Last edited by jekalo on Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
David

User avatar
RosemaryH
Forum Assistant
Forum Assistant
FAC Member (2013)
Posts: 3873
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:06 am
Location: Boons NW

Re: Not drunk but seeing pink elephant,

Unread postby RosemaryH » Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:28 am

Hi jekalo

Interesting sighting :thumbs_up: Would love to see some pics.
Rose
Please read the green gate permit you will receive on entry to the park and stick to the rules.
Remember By Feeding Any Wildlife You Are Signing Their Death Warrant, As They Become Aggressive.

User avatar
Bushbuddies
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1371
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Location: Centurion

Re: Not drunk but seeing pink elephant,

Unread postby Bushbuddies » Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:30 pm

Wow - how interesting. Can't wait to see the photos... :whistle:
13-19 June 2015 - Lower Sabie
20-23 June 2015 - Satara
24-25 June 2015 - Olifants
26-28 June 2015 - Letaba


13 Dec 2015 - Nossob
14-15 Dec 2015 - Grootkolk
16 Dec 2015 - Nossob
17-18 Dec 2015 - Mata Mata
19 Dec 2015 - Twee Rivieren

johanrebel
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 566
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:34 pm

Re: Not drunk but seeing pink elephant,

Unread postby johanrebel » Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:41 pm

jekalo wrote: I determined that it was indeed a natural pink pigmentation of the entire body of the little one and it was particularly bright behind the ears when it flapped them.
I've seen one of those too, exactly as you describe it, except it was an adult, not a baby. This pink elephant was then found early one evening in the clutches of a yellow lion. This particular young male lion had a white belly, yet he was a yellow-bellied coward. He had become separated from the rest of the pride, so there he was, muching all by himself on the pink elephant. A really fresh pink elephant too, the blood was still oozing out of the trunk. Not sure how it died, but I somehow doubt the credit belonged to the yellow lion.

Johan


Return to “Mammals”