In the off roading and over landing circles it is an unwritten law when venturing in to ellie country. These big foots have excellent smell and a soft spot for citrus. I would not want to be searched by an ellie looking for a tid bit. There is no scientific proof but due to their size I would rather be cautious
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Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 9:21 pm Posts: 370 Location: Port Elizabeth
If I remember correctly, many years ago - probably in about the 1970's?-the elephants used to be fed oranges daily at the main watering hole at a specific time. Don't know if this was only in times of drought? I'm sure Megan will fill us in, but there are notices up at the entrances at Addo saying that no citrus is allowed.
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Hi Tracylee and others, Yes, we did have a rule that you could not take citrus fruits into the Game Area. When the Park was first proclaimed, there was no fence around the area to keep elephants inside the Park and stop them from wandering onto neighbouring farms where they clashed with farmers trying to protect their crops and water sources. Elephants were then fed citrus to keep them within the Park boundaries, and later this became a tourist attraction (so feeding continued even after elephant-proof fences were constructed). Before the days of tourist roads through the Park, visitors could gather at the feeding spot to watch the elephants eat citrus.
In the late 1970s, it was decided to stop the citrus feeding because of the stress this practice was causing amongst the elephant herd. Elephants would also concentrate around the feeding area, impacting the surrounding vegetation, rather than roaming over the Park.
This rule came about after the feeding of citrus ceased because there were some instances when tourist vehicles were charged by elephants, presumably because the visitors had citrus fruits in the vehicle. The rule was kept in place until last year, when we removed the "no citrus" sign as it has now been 30 years since elephants were last fed citrus and we feel visitors are no longer in danger of elephants charging their vehicles to get citrus fruits.
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