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Knysna Elephants

Knysna, Tsitsikamma, Wilderness
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Wild@Heart
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Knysna Elephants

Unread postby Wild@Heart » Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:50 am

Ok, maybe someone can tell me...are there any elephants left in the Knysna forrest, or have they been relocated/culled/hunted?
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:16 am

Hi W@H,

Although I have never seen one there I know that there are maybe 2 or 3 around. There is a specialised team consisting of park staff that walks around the forest. They have had some sightings of what was believed 2 or 3 of them. Unless it was a april fool's joke!

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Unread postby Meg » Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:10 am

I've also been told there are 3 remaining, but that they are now repopulating the area with a few non-Knysna elephants (normal SA ones - slightly larger I believe?).

It will be tragic when these 3 are gone.
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Unread postby Wild@Heart » Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:42 am

Ditto.. I wonder if they ever established why there was a problem with maintaining the populations (after the "great" :? hunt)?
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Unread postby BunduBoi » Sun Nov 13, 2005 9:10 pm

Try this link: www.knysnaelephantpark.co.za

It seems that the number has grown to 10 ellies in the area :)
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Unread postby Loams » Sun Nov 13, 2005 9:19 pm

Gosh, I missed this thread completely. No guys, there are no more wild Elephants left in the Knysna forest. The last remaining cow died before 2000. SANP then relocated Kruger Elephants into the forest, but their feet started to rot and they were malnourished because of the unfamiliar vegetation. and all eight of them died.

Harry and Sally are kept in a relatively small plot , just off the N2 Highway between Plett and Knysnaand are quite tame. I have had the privilidge to see them both and even fed them some oranges. One of them recently killed a handler, and I am not sure what their lot was in the end. My dad is in local council for Knysna, I will ask him next time I speak to him. He also watches this forum, so maybe now is a perfect reason for him to join ;-)
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Nov 14, 2005 6:29 am

You are "gasuip"! :lol: :twisted: On news in the last 2 years trackers in Knysna spotted elephants on different occasions. Explain please?
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Unread postby lam » Mon Nov 14, 2005 7:23 am

Meg wrote:I've also been told there are 3 remaining, but that they are now repopulating the area with a few non-Knysna elephants (normal SA ones - slightly larger I believe?).


The Knysna elephants had shorter tusks, so that they could move around the forest.
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Unread postby Anro » Mon Nov 14, 2005 2:01 pm

I have been following the saga about the Knysna elephants for a number of years now, and it remains one of those mysteries that you can only find in a forest.

First: The Elephants at the Elephant Park are kept in captivity. It is one of the best experiences to go there. It is true that one of the handlers was killed recently, but we all know that working with wild animals is always dangerous.

Second: I do not agree with Loams that there are no more wild elephants in the Knysna forest. I have not seen one, and I do not know anybody that has seen one. I have spoken to some people working for the Forestry Department and someone living in the forest at the Gouna station. He has seen warm elephant dung recently and is convinced that there are still elephants. How many, nobody knows for certain.

The forest area is so big that 3 or 4 or even more elephants can wander out there without ever encountering a human. Anyway, if an elephant is standing 10 mteres from you in the forest and you do not know about its whereabouts, you will not see it. These "Big Feet" are quiet in the forest. (By the way, you should never say the word "elephant" in the forest, or you will be attacked by one. They are referred to as "Big Feet" - Grootvoete here)

There is a lot of reference to the Knysna elephants in literature, but little written specifically about them. It is a story that needs to be told.

The reason for the three ellies from Kruger not adapting in the forest? Probably various reasons, including wet feet, not having a taste for the food available, etc. They were not so elusive as the forest elephants and too "used" to humans that they became a nuisance on the farms in the forest. They were relocated after two or three years and as far as I can remember, now live in Addo.

I think there are elephants in the Knysna forest, because sometimes when you are in the forest, you just get the feeling there is something big out there!

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Unread postby bert » Mon Nov 14, 2005 2:34 pm

Anro wrote:I have been following the saga about the Knysna elephants for a number of years now, and it remains one of those mysteries that you can only find in a forest.



During my childhoodyears, aprox 25 odd years ago, this was allready a mystery with or without proof. People, i suppose that during all the past years somebody should have found some dung for ec.
Or is this another Bigfoot story. Every country has one
Or is there actually real proof to backup these (i hope very much) wittnesses of forestellie.

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Unread postby DuQues » Mon Nov 14, 2005 3:08 pm

Have a look here for some links. Most say that there are 4 left. Not a viable population....
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Unread postby Anro » Mon Nov 14, 2005 3:28 pm

And then I ran into Gillian Carter, the Ex Town Librarian of Knysna, who grew up in the forest and whose late husband, Nic, was a tracker, a few minutes ago. She says that the biggest herd of Big Feet she has seen was 11 about 25 years ago, but that she has seen a herd of only 3 elephants in the forest about 18 months ago.

She told me how Nic and his trackers would sit for hours in a combi in the forest and listen for the tummy rumbling of the elephants, and would the move in the direction of the sound.

Information that she has is that there are presently 6, according to recent DNA tests, 5 female and 1 male. She agrees that you will not see an ellie standing a few metres from you in the thick forest, but that if you can get into certain areas of the forest only accessable for the trackers, you would find elephants in the clearings.

Typical librarian, she referred me to the book "Elephantoms" by Llyal Watson, which deals with the Knysna elephants and whales and their method of communicating.

What more proof do we need?

I think the existence of the elephants are kept a semi-secret to keep people away from them. These elephants do not like us and I understand why.

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Unread postby Loams » Mon Nov 14, 2005 10:18 pm

Well I tried to keep the secret and then you came along Anro!!! :D

Well guys there you have it. There are still Ellies in Knysna. Although I cycled those forests flat, I never came across one or a sign of one, but sometimes you get that "feeling" that something is there.... Mostly it was the bushpigs we ran into ;-)
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Unread postby bucky » Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:59 am

I think its a bit like the story that there are buffalos in pilanesberg :o .

I wonder if it wouldnt be a better idea to get ellies from 1 of
the natal parks which are a lot more foresty and wet
than kruger , maybe they have the required wellington type feet also :?:

Is it my imagination , or are the ellies in kruger smaller and have
shorter tusks in the denser southern bush areas, than those on
the plains up near shingwedzi ? Always seem to find some hugh ellies north of shing .

The whole knysna ellephant story is yet another embarasing chapter in mans greddy history, isnt it (quaggas, blue buck , cape lion etc etc ) :redface:

With a bit of luck , maybe if there are enough hiding out , with proper protection they can come back from the brink of extinction like white rhino in umfolozi , or bontebok from a handfull of farms in the cape .

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For the record: I saw one

Unread postby boerseun » Tue Mar 21, 2006 9:14 pm

Guys,
For the record....I saw an elephant standing next to the highway and the railway line about 1 kilometre outside Sedgefield on the Buffelsbaai side in February 1973. So, there definitely was (at least) one elephant in the region then. But now? Who knows...

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