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 Post subject: How to Spot an Emerging Tusker
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:44 pm 
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Well .. It took me about the whole day, but I wanted to make sure this post is a gem as I approach my next forum milestone.

A thing that is very close to my heart is the Big / Emerging Tuskers of the Kruger National Park. And then I thought about it. How do you know if the elephant you see is a possible "Big / Emerging Tusker"?

So I did some enquiries and I would like to share this with you all, so that next time you go to the Kruger National Park, you will know when to take those snaps of an "Big / Emerging Tusker", and maybe even win the "Emerging Tuskers Competition".

Now then, when is an elephant a possible emerging / big tusker. Well for one thing .. If he is standing and his tusks almost touch the ground .. And he is standing taller then your vehicle it's kind of a given.

But in KNP determining an "Emerging Tusker" is actually quite a simple process. So here you go.

The tusk must extend from the "gum" line by a minimum of 1 meter. The elephant however, must have the potential to develop the tusks further. Which can be determined by the age of the elephant. A true Big Tusker only develops the big tusks in the last 10 years of their lives. A quick and easy way is to look at the "temples" of the elephant. If it is sunken, it most probably means the elephant is quite old and thus the possibility that it might become a big tusker is very slim.

As an example, a bull like Tsotsi as shown in the image below, still have several years to develop further and can thus be regarded as a possible Big Tusker

Image
{Resized by BGS}

So what do you do if you see a possible Big / Emerging Tusker?

Well, if you intend to send the information on to KNP or enter the "Emerging Tuskers Competition", then it is important to note some of the following when getting photographs or video footage of him/her.

1. Try to get a front and side profile of the tusks. This will help in determining the shape of the tusks.
2. Check for noticable markings, like holes in the ears etc. So it might be good to get some shots when the elephant displays it's ears.
3. Try to get full view shots of the tusks. This will help to get distinctive markings in the tusks as well.
4. Note any interesting markings, scars or nicks on the elephant. This could help in identifying a tusker if the ears and tusks aren't clearly viewable. For example, the late Mashagadzi had a prominent growth on his back right knee which they also used to identify him with, because he looked much like Masbambela if looked quickly.
5. Also note the date, time and the location of the elephant. Try to get a km reading from the closest camp if possible and the road you were travelling on.
6. Note what the elephant was doing, was he eating/sleeping etc. If he was eating .. try to get close ups of the plant he was eating etc.
7. Look for ascari's .. how many were there?

Not only do you see a beautiful creature, but it's also fun to try and identify the tuskers. One day in the future you might see him/her again and see the differences in their tusks sizes.

So then you're also probably wondering how an elephant would get into the "famous" Elephant Hall in Letaba

Well .. it's very easy actually. If the elephants tusks are either longer or heavier then any of the current tusks in the hall, they can be included. Unfortunately the Hall is at full capacity now, so not further tusks can be added. So if you have a few hundreds of thousands of rands lying around .. You can send it to KNP to extend the building :lol:

So there you go .. Hopefully you have learned something new today .. and go out "Big Tusker Hunting" in KNP next time you visit.

I also want to thank the two ladies in KNP for helping me with the information. Kirsty and Rene .. You girls rock!

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:57 pm 
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W@H, thanks for this great post!

And let me just add my encouragement to everyone to document any potential emerging tusker you may encounter in the park and submit that data to the competition. It's great to be a winner, as both W@H and I were, but it's rewarding just to know that your photos, video, and other information is contributing to the park's body of data on these amazing animals. As well, the time that I was priviledged to spend with my "mellow ellie" will always be one of my most unforgettable experiences.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:57 am 
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Who is up for posting a shot of there emerging's entered into last years comp ?

Is it ok if we do, and is this a good thread for it?

Here are two of mine so long (They are both tiny, I am sure it wont load the forum to much lol.)

Not huge compared to a Bull, but for a cow considerable, the master tusk on the right is a lot smaller.
Satara area.
Image


Young bull, still breeding(With a breed herd and in Musth.) and built like a steam roller.
Tshokwane area.
Image


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:53 pm 
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Hi Everyone

This is my first post so bear with me. :lol:

Spotted these two tuskers one day apart on the 13'th and 14'th of June 2007. The one i'm almost 100% sure is Duke. Saw him just after we turned off onto the S28 heading towards Croc Bridge.
Not sure if the second guy classifies as a tusker but saw him the day before just North of Lower Sabie on the main Road towards Skukuza. If he is an emerging tusker could anyone let me know if if he has a name.

Have more pictures of the unknown bull from the front aswell if he can't be properly identified from this image.

PS: Can someone also let me know if I have done anything incorrect on this post. Won't post anything else until I get a reply (just in case).

Image

Image

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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:26 pm 
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ggreensill wrote:

PS: Can someone also let me know if I have done anything incorrect on this post. Won't post anything else until I get a reply (just in case).


Great first post. I am looking forward to see what the experts say of this two giants


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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:27 pm 
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Hi ggreensill and Welcome!

Great to see your tusker pix. I think that you are likely correct that your first pic is of Duke — and before he broke his tusk. Have you read The Tale of the Tusk?

I hope that you will enter you unknown tusker in the Emerging Tuskers Competition. Your pix will add to KNP data and you will have the chance to win some awesome prizes 8) You can read more about it in this thread and in my trip report which includes my prize adventure. 8)

Your unknown tusker looks very promising, especially if you have more pix of him (and perhaps video?), so please do enter him! You too might be a winner!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:55 am 
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Hi Guys

Thanks for the positive response. :lol: :lol:
Glad to hear I posted everything correctly.

Here are the other pictures of the second bull I posted yesterday. Can't seem to notice any distinct ear markings but if i'm not mistaken this bull seems to have a rather large indent on the left side of his forehead above the eye. His left tusk also appears straighter than the right and slightly longer. Not sure if this might help to identify him? (sorry about the quality of some of the pics, not the best but still might help to identify him)

Arks, I made an attempt to submit pictures of both these bulls to the emerging tuskers competition at the end of last year. Had a lot of trouble with the size of my mails though and as such kept getting returned mails saying I had exceeded the size limit (this was before I knew how to shrink pictures). I eventually managed to reduce them in size and sent them off in a few mails. I didn't however receive any notification to verify that the images sent had in fact been received. Do you have any idea how I find out if they have got through or not? The rules specifically state that you can only send the images once so don't want to resend them again this year in case they were actually received previously. :?

Image Image
Image
Image

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:57 pm 
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So far as I know, you won't get any notification that your pix have been received. You just have to have faith that once you reduced your photo size, the mail went through. In my case, I had sent my pix and video on a CD and a DVD (far too much material to email) and even tho I'd paid for an international postal return receipt, I never received anything. :(

I had, prior to sending in all the materials, been in email contact with Dr Whyte because I'd thought that my ellie was one of the known ones — astonishingly like, but way out of range. Once I knew that this ellie was not Timaka, and that I had lots of useful material as I had seen him on several occassions, I submitted it. But I never received any notification that it was received, so you'll just have to have faith! :wink:

I'm delighted that you've entered your tusker, as he looks very promising to me!! 8) Even if you don't win, you will have added substantially to KNP's body of elephant data. :clap: And while winning is definitely great, I also enter pix of promising tuskers that I truly don't expect to win, simply because I think that it's important to contribute — it's a way of "giving back" to a place that has given me so much!


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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:45 am 
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I agree 100%.

At the end of the day I guess just seeing these two magnificent bulls (Duke and the unknown) was a reward in itself. I do not go to the park very often, mabye once or twice a year but have been lucky enough to spot Duke on no less than three seperate occasions. The picture that I put up in my first post was by far the best sighting of the three and this was only a couple of months before he broke his tusk. I know of some people that base their entire stay around the Croc Bridge and Lower Sabie area when they go to Kruger just to get a sighting of him and have come out empty handed.

The unknown bull was also magnificent. He is by far the largest bull sizewise that I have ever seen. He managed to cause about a 50 car traffic jam walking up the road, not giving way to anyone. Had a look at the short video that I tried to take of him. Unfortunatley most of the footage is of the sky, roadsurface or inside of the car as he decided to give a little mock charge as we pulled up alongside him and stated filming. Needless to say we got out of there as fast as possible. :shock: :shock: :shock:

The only thing I would like to know about the unknown bull is if anyone does in fact know who he is? Would be nice to put a name to a face and set of pictures.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:47 am 
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GG, you are on the wrong thread, you should start one like, I spotted an emerging tusker. :clap: The second bull is seen between CB, Lower sabie for a long time now I think. I have pics of him that are still on film format. He is large not only in his tusks & the peculiar slant to them are recognisable. I would like to know if there is a name to him. We called him Stinky as he had a very strong aroma to him.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:37 pm 
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Hi Scorpio

Thanks for the heads up.
Not sure how to start a new thread and seeing the posts before mine, thuoght that this was the best place to make the post. Am currently trying to find out who the bull is? If I here anything will let you know.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:39 pm 
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Sorry Have just seen that I have your username wrong.

My apologies. :redface: :redface:

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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:12 pm 
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Hi GG, no prob with the name. I just phoned a friend, & hope the have a name in the next day or so.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:58 am 
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Hi ggreenshill,

I've asked the pro's if they can assist. Will get back to you as soon as I have any info.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:18 pm 
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Wild@Heart wrote:
Hi ggreenshill,

I've asked the pro's if they can assist. Will get back to you as soon as I have any info.


Pro's say they got it .. as for the Ellie .. seems he is not named yet .. So a new one to the list :dance: .. once he get's a name :lol:

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