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Past Tusker - Duke

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Past Tusker - Duke

Unread postby RosemaryH » Thu Dec 30, 2004 9:09 pm

Past Tusker - Duke
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Photo by Marie de la Hunt

Origin of Name: Duke is named for the ranger Thomas Duke who was based at Lower Sabie between 1903 and 1923. A windmill which this bull frequents shares the same name.
Range: This large and docile animal roams in the South of the Kruger National Park between Lower Sabie and Crocodile Bridge Rest Camps, these area’s dominating his home range, he has however been known to roam as far north as Tshokwane and the Metsi Metsi Trails camp.

Read more about Duke here
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Unread postby KNP Spokesman » Thu Mar 24, 2005 11:45 am

How old is Duke?

I understand that the only really accurate way to age an elephant is with his teeth.

An elephant has 6 sets of molars in its lifetime. These are replaced every couple of years until the last set is left. Most elephants on this last set of molars have only a few years left before they eventually die (quite literally of starvation as, without their teeth, they can't process food).

Scientists/researchers have documented the shape and size of these molar sets and, by looking at the teeth, we can tell within a few years, the age of an elephant.

At a quick glance, you can also get an "idea" by looking at the shape of an elephant's head. If it has deep depressions in the forehead region, that animal is probably fairly old.

As I have not yet looked inside Duke's mouth, I am not really sure but I would say he is a pretty old elephant and is probably about 50-odd years old.

Hope this helps ...

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PS - Hopefully, one day, I'll see him too ...

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Unread postby Baz » Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:25 pm

We think thi is duke, if someone can confirm

Seen at Ntandanyathi hide

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Last edited by Elsa on Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Pic resizing.

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:29 pm

Yup, it's him. Can even see the clip in the left ear. Very well done!
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duke temp

Unread postby Pieter Steyn » Fri Jan 12, 2007 11:57 pm

This is duke

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Unread postby Shidzidzii » Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:44 am

Here are some photos of Duke (I assume ) taken on 26 th December 2006 at Muntshe waterhole just north of the mountain at about midday and very hot (over 36 degrees). he crossed over the road towards the Mlondozi river water pools .


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Last edited by Shidzidzii on Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postby dianne » Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:54 am


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Unread postby Shidzidzii » Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:55 am

2 more pics of Duke

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Last edited by Shidzidzii on Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Unread postby Elsa » Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:56 pm

Thanks for the pics of Duke Mike, he really is such an awesome sighting and one that has been eluding me for so long now. :roll:
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Mar 05, 2007 6:37 am

Weebirdy, if you see Duke you will just know that it is him. Physically he is not the largest ele in Kruger, but he sports with the two biggest pillars in Africa most probably.

Also remember that he is found in a specific region(Croc bridge towards Lower Sabie and as far up as the Sweni area), no other ele with similar tusks like his are found there.

I wish I could see you face the first time you gonna see a wild ele. :D Enjoy!

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Unread postby KNP Spokesman » Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:03 pm

Hi Weebirdy

Duke is a very special animal whom I have only seen once. There are, however, some of my colleagues who have seen him more than once (notably some of the guides at Lower Sabie, the rangers at Croc Bridge and Tshokwane and, of course, our elephant scientist Dr Ian Whyte who has seen him a FEW times!).
He has also been spotted on the Lebombo Overland Eco-Trial (the four night, five day trip on our eastern boundary) so his range is fairly big.
The square notch on his left ear is small but distinctive, it is just a shade lower than his eye, on the edge of his hear "flap". You can't really see it on the photograph above but it is amazing how it stands out when you see this elephant "in elephant". [well, I can't really say "in person", can I?]
Less obvious is a strange V-shape (on its side) fold on the left ear but, as Wildtuinman says, when you see him there is no doubt in your mind as the tips of his tusks literally scrape the ground. In fact, rangers tell me that he often "sleeps" by leaning on these VERY LONG tusks.
He normally has 5/6 "Askari" bulls with him but over December 2006 he was spotted with a family group, including calves. Although it might not be (elephants have very loose associations between bulls and cows), there is a good chance that they are his siblings, so there is a bit of go in the old boy yet!
Incidentally, we think he is in the 55-60 year time span, which means that he doesn't have that much longer to go.

Kind regards
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Unread postby jonty1 » Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:13 pm

Saw Duke on the 7/4/07 on road H4-1 from Skukuza to Lower Sabie. He is definately a huge fella, and most beautiful. We were lucky to get these lovely shots of him :D
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Unread postby floydy » Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:59 am

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I saw this guy, don't know his name, but has mighty long tusks!

(Taken just before Lower Sabie on the back road to Tshakwane)
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Unread postby floydy » Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:12 am

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Just another view of this Beaut! :lol:
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Duke

Unread postby timbo » Thu May 03, 2007 2:54 pm

I saw Duke last year in august and would pics if i just knew how too. He was looking good as we got within 10 feet of him. He is masive. He is about a metre taller then those green game drive vehicles. His tusks have been worn away at the bottom. What a pity.


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