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Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

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Ralph vV
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Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Ralph vV » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:23 pm

Last night during a massive storm over the Mopani region, an elephant was killed by lightning at the Tihongonyeni Waterhole. Sanparks personnel removed the head and tusks this afternoon, leaving a rather grim sight.... Already vultures are circling and landing, but no predators as yet. It is very sad to see such a magnificent giant killed in such a way, but that's Nature for you.... Pics and updates to follow, as we are based in the area over the next few days.
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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Grantmissy » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:58 pm

Thank you Ralph vV for sharing this rather grim information, but that is nature I guess.
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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby DinkyBird » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:52 pm

RvV - good to see you here :dance: :dance:

Sad to hear about the ellie; looking forward to reading more about it.
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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Scipio » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:02 pm

Hey Ralphie you biscuit, I am driving past there tomorrow morning, how bout a meet.

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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Ralph vV » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:06 pm

Hi Grantmissy, Deebs.... Scips jou Yster (Scipio you Iron)! Was a bit of a shock to come across the sighting.... On my way to spend the afternoon there now. Scips, we'll be there from around 04h45 tomorrow morning, so meet is on! Will post updates later.... Ciao!
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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Scipio » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:13 pm

See you there then, yeeehaa. Earlyish I will be there. :-)

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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby hilda » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:32 pm

This is so very sad! Poor Ellie! :(

Enjoy your meet Scipio and Ralph! :thumbs_up:
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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Ralph vV » Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:14 pm

Thanx Hilda! Very grim, macabre sighting indeed.... You don't want to watch, but cannot help to be fascinated by the feast the vultures are having! Very interesting interaction amongst the various species.
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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby hilda » Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:16 am

I can just imagine a heartbreaking sight like that Ralph! But I am sure the interaction between the Vultures must be a fascinating sighting! I'm sure the Hyenas and Jackals will also join in? :hmz:
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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Grantmissy » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:19 am

I am just wondering for interest sake whether many animals are killed by lightening in the Kruger National Park? If I am correct in 1997 six elephants were killed by lightning while they huddled together seeking shelter from a violent storm in the vicinity of Lower-Sabie Camp. I personally do not know or has heard of any other such occurrences as I think they are probably rare?

Thanks again Ralph vV for telling us about this sad incident that took the life of the Elephant. I am sure it must be very grim and macabre to see.
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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Ralph vV » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:26 am

Been at the sighting since 04h45 this morning.... Gentle, consistent rain soaked the earth through the night. A few black-backed jackal were picking over some scraps, before being chased off by the arrival of the Vultures.... No Hyaena, Lion or predator sighting yet. Stomach cavity severely bloated, but not punctured yet.... Smell is becoming worse, as the sun starts baking. Activity around carcass diminishing, with only about 30 birds feeding... Had a great meet/ chat with Scipio, Petra and LO! Great seeing them again....
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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Philip1 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:11 am

:) Ralph vV, thank you for keeping us posted. :thumbs_up:

:( Not a nice way to be killed, but better than poaching. (A Natural kill) :)
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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Joep Stevens » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:51 am

Yes, indeed a sad loss. We were at Letaba at the time and could see this huge storm northwards from midday on 1 January. A few days earlier we were at Mopani and visited Tihongonyeni a few times and conditions were just optimal for great game viewing there. Unbelievable traffic of animals all day long and we called it the Serengeti of Kruger. With the good rains, this will obviously change now.

Thank you for sharing!

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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Bennievis » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:15 pm

Hi Ralphie - long time no see :popcorn:

Very sad story. Thanks for all the updates from everyone.

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Re: Elephant killed by lightning- Tihongonyeni

Unread postby Bundi » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:31 pm

Maybe one of the rangers can confirm this for me, but I once heard that lion would not eat from a carcass that was killed by lightning.

A good friend of mine lost a few head of cattle some years ago due to lightning and phoned a nearby lion farm to offer them the meat. The respectfully declined saying that lions would not touch it.


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