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Past Tusker - Duke

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Re: Duke

Unread postby 100ponder » Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:09 am

Hi Wildtuinman,

Can you please also post on this site the circumferences and weights and length of the individual pieces of the tusks - I am really interested to know as much as possible of this old man.

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Re: Duke

Unread postby wildtuinman » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:09 am

Yeah, Buckster! Exactly! :wink:

Top figure - Left Tusk
Bottom Figure - Right Tusk

Broken Piece Length (cm)

From skull Length (cm)

Circumference round lip (cm/ inches)
50 19.69
50 19.69

Broken Piece Weight (kg/ lbs)
37.05 81.68
38.25 84.33

From Skull Weight (kg/ lbs)
33.2 73.19
31.9 70.33

Total Weight (kg/ lbs)
70.25 154.87
70.15 154.65
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Re: Duke

Unread postby Mant » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:30 am


I would like to know when exactly Duke's tusks will be put on display in the Letaba Elephant Hall?



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The real weight of Duke's tusks?

Unread postby jeffgordon » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:14 pm

The Times yesterday reported that Duke's tusks weighed a combined 140.5kg

This surely can't be correct, can it? When you look at the weights of the Magnificent Seven ( the heaviest combined was Joao at 130kg (although I think this may be an estimate as Joao's tusks were never found) and Kambaku at 127.2kg. Shawu (who previously held the record for longest tusks) only weighed in at a measly 103.5kg.

If it is right, then Duke truly was a wonder of nature and anyone lucky enough to have seen him can surely count themselves most fortunate indeed.


Re: The real weight of Duke's tusks?

Unread postby Joao » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:28 pm


The weight of 140.5kg is mentioned all over the media and on the forums. It seem to be the correct weight although Sanparks said that they will confirm the weight of the tusks.

We don't always believe that what we see are actually history in the making.

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Re: Duke

Unread postby Bushbuddies » Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:46 pm

Wow! Just read here about Duke's tusk sizes! :big_eyes: Way to go, boy! :clap: He surely carried some heavy ivory on him. What a privelage to be able to say I saw him whilest still alive. :D
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Re: Duke

Unread postby saraf » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:42 am

I think the Elephant Hall should stay as it is, as a tribute to 7 individuals who defied the odds and survived to mature into the original Big Tuskers.

With the poaching of elephants and the wars in Zimbabwe and Mozambique that they lived through, it is staggering that they survived as long as they did with their great tusks intact.

The Duke story is unique and I think has significance for the forum in particular. But maybe there should be a story board dedicated to him nearer to his home range, perhaps in Lower Sabie.
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Re: Duke

Unread postby Digby » Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:38 pm

Hi Saraf,

Yes, only Dzombo was lost to poachers and the others were indeed fortunate not to be poached.

SANPARKS policy for the Elephant Hall seems to me to be to display the tusks of the original Magnificent Seven, being Kambaku (127.2kg's); Ndlulamithi (121.8kg's); Dzombo (112.3kg's); Mafunyane (110.0 kg's); Shingwedzi (105.3kg's); and Shawu (103.4kg's). Joao's tusks were lost before he died and he is thus disqualified even though they might have been the heaviest of the seven.

Nhlangulene (109.5kg's) was included, although not one of the original Magnificent Seven, because his ivory was also exceptional and he was largely unknown at the time the Magnificent Seven were publicised.

SANPARKS then also included Phelwane (135.5kg's) as the then weight record and Mandleve (142.5kg's) as the new weight record.

If a bull with heavier ivory dies with his tusks then SANPARKS will most probably include him with these nine greats. Eventually this elephant will come along. The bloodlines are there so it will happen someday.

Interestingly enough, Bruce Bryden mentioned in his book that at the time the original Magnificent Seven were selected there were around 40 other bulls in the same weight class. I wonder what became of them and if their ivory was recovered, or if records of them were kept by SANPARKS. It would be fantastic to have this information to browse.

Duke is a special case and perhaps he does deserve his own display in the south of the park, where he ranged widely. More people will see him if displayed at Lower Sabie, even though Crocodile Bridge was his favourite area of the park.



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Re: Duke

Unread postby flying cheetah » Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:04 pm

Aat wrote:At my Tusker website I have a special section for the Magnificent 7 and a section for the Tuskers of yesterday.
Perhaps it could be an idea to have a special section for the so called other Big Tuskers including Duke, Hlanganini, Mandleve, Mashagadzi, Phelwane a.o. calling them the Famous Big Tuskers of Kruger or another name , maybe good suggestions by you?

If I think of Duke I would say "legendary Tusker" would be the right name :wink:
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Re: Duke

Unread postby stephan groen » Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:54 am

Thank you Stephens for all the info.

I hope his offspring is wandering around growing tusks as we speak
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