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Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

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Elsa
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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Elsa » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:13 pm

Thanks for the daily updates Ralph! :thumbs_up:
and also a big :clap: for ranger Joe Nkuna!
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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby hilda » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:08 pm

Thanks for the updaste Ralph! If only Vultures, Marabous and Jackal are scavenging on that poor Ellie, it is going to take some time before it is finished. Or not? :doh:

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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Ralph vV » Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:07 pm

Hi Elsa! Nice to see you...
Hilda, once the hyenas get in on the action, carcass should be finished chop-chop (or should it be ”chomp-chomp”). The heat will also speed up rot and decay.... Currently in Balule (absolute HEAVEN!), so no further updates. Will post pics as soon as I'm back in the concrete jungle of Gauteng.... (Around the 9th).
Kindest regards, Ralph.
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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Ralph vV » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:53 am

Hi guys!
As promised, i have a few pics to post... However, due to the nature of this event/ incident, some may be very graphic and explicit. Please be warned, not to scroll down if easily offended or sensitive...
Regards, Ralph.
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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Ralph vV » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:56 am

As we turned the corner, approaching Thihongonyeni Waterhole, we were shocked to be greeted by this... A very sad and disturbing moment!

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RvV 20130102-IMG_9401x2 by Ralph vV, on Flickr
Last edited by Ralph vV on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:34 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Ralph vV » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:01 am

This gentle giant evoked a myriad of emotions...

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RvV 20130102-IMG_9405 by Ralph vV, on Flickr
Last edited by Ralph vV on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Ralph vV » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:28 am

Vultures joining in the grim feast!

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RvV 20130102-IMG_9483 by Ralph vV, on Flickr
Last edited by Ralph vV on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Ralph vV » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:30 am

After a very HOT day, and some overnight rain, rot and decay quite evident...

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RvV 20130103-IMG_9617 by Ralph vV, on Flickr
Last edited by Ralph vV on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Ralph vV » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:32 am

King of the Carcass.... Lots of josstling for position going on! These 2 Marabou's fighting over top spot.

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RvV 20130103-IMG_9695 by Ralph vV, on Flickr
Last edited by Ralph vV on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Ralph vV » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:34 am

Announcing Breakfast! The feast continues.... Loudly announced by the ever-present storks!

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RvV 20130104-IMG_9809 by Ralph vV, on Flickr
Last edited by Ralph vV on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Ralph vV » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:40 am

More arrivals...

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RvV 20130104-IMG_9844 by Ralph vV, on Flickr
Throughout the day, the vultures and marabou's would feast... Sometimes taking a break, by just falling over (as if dead), and resting. only to continue again later...

We were reminded once again how fragile life is! Even for such a magnificent beast... Nature can be soooo beautiful, but also so cruel. The circle of life....
Last edited by Ralph vV on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:05 am

Great sighting and photos, Ralph!! :thumbs_up:
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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby redlomo » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:08 am

Thanks for the photos, Ralph.

Can anyone tell me the reason for removing the head (can the tusks not be removed without removing the head, or do they remove the head for a different purpose?)

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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Scipio » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:28 am

redlomo, Hi,

The front part of the face is removed only, as you can see from the pics the ears etc is still there. The reason for this, is that the tusks are anchored in the upper jaw region, even as deep as a forearms length. The tusks can be removed after 3 to 7 days of degradation(Rotting) of the flesh, depending on heat by just twisting them out, but in this case, the tusks were removed as fast as possible, probably to ensure the safety of said tusks from grubby hands. It might have been a fair sized pair, and Sanparks removes all tusks from the veld to be registered as per regulation. :thumbs_up:

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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Ralph vV » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:49 am

Thanx, it was fairly gruesome, but also very interesting to see the progression of the decay, the variety of vultures feeding, and the different patterns developing... The marabou's preferred the softer areas behind the front legs, where their long beaks could extract little rotting morsels.
Scipio, you are quite right! :thumbs_up: The tusks were sizeable, and had to be removed asap... Once removed, it would be weighed, catalogued and stored...

A few more pics to follow within a day or two...

Regards,

Ralph.
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