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 Post subject: Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:01 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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This gentle giant evoked a myriad of emotions...

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RvV 20130102-IMG_9405 by Ralph vV, on Flickr

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Last edited by Ralph vV on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:28 am 
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Vultures joining in the grim feast!

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RvV 20130102-IMG_9483 by Ralph vV, on Flickr

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Last edited by Ralph vV on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:30 am 
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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

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Last edited by Ralph vV on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:32 am 
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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

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Last edited by Ralph vV on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:34 am 
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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

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Last edited by Ralph vV on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:40 am 
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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....

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Last edited by Ralph vV on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:05 am 
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Great sighting and photos, Ralph!! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:08 am 
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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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 Post subject: Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:28 am 
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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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 Post subject: Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:49 am 
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WTM, jou Biscuit! :D 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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 Post subject: Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:10 am 
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Ja Ralph, it must have been sad, I wonder if it was a Bull that I have seen, photographed there over the years, and to see the stately beast like that. :cry:

But thats nature, .... Great pics, especially like the interaction with the storks. :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:56 am 
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Marabou Stork using its long beak to access those delicious morsels...

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20130104-IMG_9814 by Ralph vV, on Flickr

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Last edited by Ralph vV on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:59 am 
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Typical "Spread-wings" display by vulture to show dominance/ protect its feeding area...

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20130104-IMG_9830 by Ralph vV, on Flickr

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Last edited by Ralph vV on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:03 pm 
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Frenetic Feeding Frenzy! Amazing to witness such hectic feeding activity around a carcass... Almost non-stop parade of diners throughout the day!

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20130104-IMG_9842 by Ralph vV, on Flickr

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Last edited by Ralph vV on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:09 pm 
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Tug of War!
With the stomach cavity exposed, vultures are tugging at the entrails.... Old Marabou comes closer, for a better look!

Image
20130105-IMG_9942 by Ralph vV, on Flickr

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Last edited by Ralph vV on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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