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Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 3:28 pm 
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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 postPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 10:18 pm 
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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 postPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:59 am 
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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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 Post subject: For the record: I saw one
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 9:14 pm 
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Location: Germany
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...

Christo Volschenk
Germany


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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:41 pm 
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Whilst running the Knysna marathon a few yrs ago I saw lots of 'pachy poo' on the ground and one could see the damaged vegetation where they crossed during the night.....so yes I believe there are still a few ellies in the forest.
If I'd seen one I'd probably have won the marathon :tongue: :!:

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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 9:12 pm 
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About 9yrs ago I was mountian biking in the Knysna forest and came across still steaming dung :shock: lots of it, didn't stop to check it out, cycled faster than I've ever done in my life. We were very deep in the forests at the time,on sinlge track, veeeery quiet and very dense...and yes, we got horribly lost at one time.


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 Post subject: Caught out
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:19 pm 
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Glenda wrote:
Whilst running the Knysna marathon a few yrs ago I saw lots of 'pachy poo' on the ground and one could see the damaged vegetation where they crossed during the night.....so yes I believe there are still a few ellies in the forest.
If I'd seen one I'd probably have won the marathon :tongue: :!:


I believe you are the victim of a clever joke by one of our local councillors who, according to "sources" ,planted a few turds specially for the marthon runners. Seems to have worked. :)

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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:42 am 
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Yes, I heard that it was near the Simola Golf Course, to help the runners on! Apparantly it was the then owner of the development that pulled the prank.

Good news in today's local Knysna newspaper is about recent sightings of elephants, with a photograph. I will try to scan the report and photograph in and post it as soon as I can get to a scanner.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:53 pm 
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Anro my 'pachy poo' was deep in the forest making it even more real :!:
A good joke though :lol: :lol:
G :thumbs_up:

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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:34 pm 
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Well, Glenda, check this out and decide for youself. I think it could have been the real macoy. This is a copy of an article in the local newspaper in Knysna today:

"Forest elephants

Elephant sightings in the Knysna Forest have occurred as recently as January 26 and February 7 this year.
Says Hilton Herd of SANParks, "I saw it clearly through binoculars, it lay down and was digging in the ground with it's tusk. Unfortunately it smelt me and moved off. It was too dark to photograph."
The last confirmed sighting recorded by SANParks, was in November 2004 when the accompanying photographs were taken by Forest Guard, Wilfred Oraai.
According to Herd, it is extremely difficult to determine how many elephant remain in the forest, with opinion even amongst SANParks staff, varying from person to person.
The elephant sighted this year had a similar foot print to the one photographed in 2004, but has not been conclusively identi
fied as the same animal. Elephant seen at a distance in the forest are very difficult to distinguish one from another, with tears on ears and lengths of tusks having been used as identifying features. Drawbacks of this method, are that, over time, tears can increase and tusks can be broken off. Broken off tusks also grow.
An attempt is be ing made to capture images of the eye and surrounding area. Another method which will possibly be explored is analysis of elephant dung.
Says Herd, " They love breaking signboards, they rip them out with the planted pole and carry them for about 200m and stamp on them.
"They're also fond of damaging the machines that the forestry people use. The elephant picks up and throws over the little diesel carriers.
"When the sawn timber is piled up, they overturn the neat piles.
"One was even known to puncture an approximately 8ft high, R 3000 tyre, belonging to a road building vehi-cle."
On approximately February 6 this year, evidence was found of an elephant having pulled a dead bush-pig around. When the
location was visited the next day, the dead bush-pig was covered with branches and surrounded by fresh elephant footprints."

And if I can figure out how to post a picture, I can even post a copy of the picture taken by Wilfred Oraai!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 8:59 am 
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Have a look at posting pictures, Anro.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 10:31 am 
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Thanks, Gwen. Lets see if works.

This is the front page picture of the newspaper.

Image


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:18 pm 
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Thanks anro..pic is great BUT......are you sure your local newspaper is not preparing you for 1 April :wink:
Having said that I DO believe there are ellies in the Forest....time for another marathon :evil: me thinks to check it out :shock:
G

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 5:02 pm 
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Thanks for that scan and the article, Anro. Very interesting. :)

I believe that they are definitely there and probably more than we think. Not a joke according to me. :D

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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 12:26 pm 
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Sheez, that really makes it interesting... it's wonderful to have free roaming elephants around too :wink:

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