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 Post subject: Re: Big Tuskers
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:05 pm 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Location: The planning is on again.....
okie wrote:
Pumbaa , thank you for sharing your pics of Mavatsani . :thumbs_up:
:thumbs_up: You know , I first spotted him in October 2010 at Babalala , and sent his pics to Aat , which was when he then first named him , so I always like to consider Mavatsani " as mine " :) .Unfortunately I have not seen him again since that first time , but certainly I have a soft spot for him .
Good to see this magnificent tusker still well and thriving :clap:


Always a pleasure okie and indeed I can imagine how lucky you was to know that he is doing well - Especially when we meet such tuskers it is always great to know from other mities that same are still roaming the area :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Big Tuskers
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:04 pm 
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Awesome tusks Pumbaa, thanx for sharing!

Thanx for your hard work on the tuskersite Aat, we DO appreciate it big time!!! - yes, it also goes with on our trips.....

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 Post subject: Big Tuskers
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:05 am 
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I like to present you the first 2 named tuskers I met during my last trip to Kruger (nov-dec 2012)
More to come ……..

First one I like to show is RICEHO
Very nice tusker with very promising tusks, growing well and both tusks are thick
I could get close to him, he was very relaxed and friendly. A bit of “whispering” and he was posing as it should be. :whistle: :whistle:

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Second one just about 5km away of Riceho I found MANDZEMBA
Great to see him again, I remember I found him in february 2009 and decided to name him, convinced he would be a big tusker in near future. See what happens… his tusks are growing fast. Also “whispered” with and to him :roll: :roll: for some time before he came out of the bush (waited for almost an hour) He came on the road, took his time for posing and then disappeared again into the bush…. Funny to add… next day almost same place he showed himself one more time for me.

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Updated site with pics of Mandzemba, Riceho, Hlahleni, Kaleka and Kumana

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Shingwedzi: april 30 - may 4, Satara: may 4-8, Skukuza: may 8-9


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 Post subject: Re: Big Tuskers
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:43 pm 
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Hey Aat, can I ask a question? some big ellies have very deep indentations on the side of their heads and some less, is this an age indication? Also I would like to know why some have these huge tusks and some don't have tusks at all?

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 Post subject: Big Tuskers
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:57 pm 
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Part II of the Tuskers I met during last trip
HLAHLENI:

Near Letaba, main road along the Letaba riverbed
A beautiful tusker with classic shaped tusks and also a potential Big Tusker

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Next, number 4 …. We go to the homeland for several tuskers…. Mopani (Mooiplaas waterhole)
Some tuskers do travel a lot , some tuskers do have a kind of area they almost never leave… an interesting fact to keep in mind.
One of the tuskers who does not travel a lot is KALEKA.
I met a few times before and again I found him in “his” area , near Mooiplaas waterhole.

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And finally number 5 , close to Satara camp I found KUMANA.
Special for me since I never saw this one before.

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Next trip to Kruger NP 2014
Skukuza: april 21-22, Satara: april 22-26, Mopani: april 26-30
Shingwedzi: april 30 - may 4, Satara: may 4-8, Skukuza: may 8-9


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 Post subject: Re: Big Tuskers
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:16 pm 
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Aat,
I am following this big tusker thread for a long time. I have seen some tuskers many years ago in some countries like Kenya and Tanzania. I was impressed by them and they stole my heart. I think you have a unique website with all those tuskers. Looking at your pictures I really think you must have a kind of special gift. It's the way they look at you, just don't know how to explain but there is something.
I hope you will continue with this for many years. The post about Mac is really added value to all of us.


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 Post subject: Re: Big Tuskers
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:59 pm 
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Location: Magalieskruin, Pretoria
Hi Aat

We saw this elephant on the way to Letaba last year. Appears familiar, but difficult to ID. Please help.

Made a mistake with posting photos on TinyPic. Now trying Flickr. :hmz:

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IMG_7997 by Petro Rossouw, on Flickr

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Last edited by Petro Rossouw on Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Big Tuskers
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:07 pm 
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And this big boy in the S28 on 11 Jan 2013

Image
IMG_8475 by Petro Rossouw, on Flickr


This one was huge in stature.

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IMG_8481 by Petro Rossouw, on Flickr

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Last edited by Petro Rossouw on Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Big Tuskers
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:47 pm 
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Petro,
I really like to help but the pictures shown here are to small , you're welcome to send larger format to my tusker address :)
tuskers@zeelandnet.nl

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 Post subject: Breaking news - Tembe's Makadebona has died !
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:52 pm 
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Location: Amanzimtoti, KZN, RSA.
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Makadebona - One of Africa's Last great Tuskers found dead
KwaZulu-Natal January 2013 - The death of one of Southern Africa’s last big tuskers has sparked appeals for better protection of Africa’s dwindling number of large-tusked elephants, especially the unique ivory gene pool from KwaZulu-Natal’s Tembe Elephant Park.

Last week, field rangers in Tembe found the body of Makadebona, believed to be the second-largest tusker on the sub-continent. Aged around 45, the large bull had head wounds suggesting he was killed in a fight with a rival bull nearly a month ago.

According to Johan Marais, a Pretoria-based wildlife vet and author of two books on Africa’s largest tuskers, there are only about 40 bulls left in Africa which qualify as true “tuskers” – bulls whose tusks weigh more than 45kg each.

Makadebona’s left tusk was 2.71m long and weighed 58kg, while the right tusk was 2.65m long and weighed 53.5kg.
[ Approx 128 & 118 pounds ]


With tusks almost 3m long, Makadebona was the second-largest tusker in Southern Africa. In Zulu his name meant One who has been around/seen it all. PICTURE: Leonard Muller
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Until recently, the Tembe park had three of South Africa’s biggest “tuskers”. Although two of these bulls have died within the past two years in the 30 000ha reserve in northern KZN, Tembe is still home to South Africa’s largest-known tusker, “iSilo”, a bull with tusks almost 3m long.

Marais said most of Africa’s biggest tuskers lived in Kenya’s Tsavo National Park, but in his opinion Tembe was the second best place to see large tuskers.

“Apart from East Africa, nowhere have I seen so many bulls with such magnificent ivory. Even in Kruger National Park, the average bull carries much smaller ivory than the average bull in Tembe.”

Marais, who has travelled extensively across Africa to research two books on big tuskers, said tourists from the US and Europe were particularly keen to see and photograph unusually large bulls such as “Duke”, previously the largest bull in Kruger.

He noted that Africa’s elephant population had also plummeted to less than half a million, compared with five million elephants 65 years ago. Poaching and hunting pressure had all but wiped out the largest-tusked specimens.

“Now there are only 40 or so tuskers left throughout the continent and with the current level of ivory poaching I’m worried if we don’t do something soon there will be no big tuskers left within 10 years…”

Marais said he was especially concerned about ensuring the survival of the Tembe elephant gene pool.

“Tsavo National Park in Kenya has more than 12 000 elephants, many with magnificent ivory, whereas Tembe is a very small park with only 230 elephants.”

Because the park was so small and also home to other unique plants and animals, the Tembe elephant population has been controlled artificially for the past six years using the porcine zona pellucida (PZP) contraceptive vaccine.

Marais said while he understood the biological reasons for contraception at Tembe, it was also essential to protect the gene pool of these large-tusked elephants in the park.

“The only solutions seem to be enlarging the park to give them more space, or to halt the contraception programme.”

Although there are plans to drop Tembe’s northern fence to allow the elephants to cross the border into Mozambique and link up with a related herd in the Maputo Elephant Special Reserve, Marais said it might be more practical to enlarge the Tembe park by linking it to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park or the Mkhuze and Ndumo game reserves in KZN.

“Elephant bulls only have a 20-year window to transfer their genes between the ages of 35 and about 55 years. And they only come into musth (heightened sexual hormone levels) once a year, for about a month.”

Leonard Muller of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, who has been monitoring Tembe’s elephant population for the past four years, said Makadebona’s decomposed carcass had been found by field rangers last Monday in the Ezinaleni section of the park and he seemed to have died about a month ago.

Two years ago, another large bull “Induna” died in Tembe.

At the time, Makadebona was thought to be the park’s third-largest tusker, but a post-mortem inspection showed that his tusks were larger and heavier than those of Induna.

“We think Makadebona was only about 45 years old, whereas bulls can live to around 55 or 60 years old.

“So he was comparatively young and we know that tusks grow exponentially in the last few years of an elephant’s life,” said Muller.

So if he had not died prematurely, Makadebona would have developed really, really big ivory.

“Makadebona was my favourite elephant. He was just such a well-mannered, chilled and beautiful animal.” - The Mercury

[ The Mercury is a daily newspaper here in Durban, South Africa.]


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking news - Tembe's Makadebona has died !
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:27 pm 
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100ponder,
Thanks for this post. It's sad that another big tusker had died. The number of big tuskers is going down in all of africa by poaching and natural causes. The promising ones is our hope for the future so a reason extra to look out for and following them as good as possible.

So tuskermites please don't hesitate to post your sightings and if you need any help please ask, we are ready to help with ID and post the pictures.

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Skukuza: april 21-22, Satara: april 22-26, Mopani: april 26-30
Shingwedzi: april 30 - may 4, Satara: may 4-8, Skukuza: may 8-9


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 Post subject: Re: Big Tuskers
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:43 pm 
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Thanks 100 pounder for that information Ive got to say Im not an ellie fan however to see such an exquisite specimen die is heartbreaking he truly had beautiful tusks and had he lived longer we couldve witnessed tusks of exponential size ......... Such a pity

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 Post subject: Re: Big Tuskers
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:33 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Amanzimtoti, KZN, RSA.
Hello fellow Tuskermites !

This thread has been very quiet for the last few weeks !

Any way, earlier today whilst battling poor internet performance
I saw this magnificent TEMBE tusker which might very well be
the current number two for TEMBE. [ Photos below - pardon the quality.]

I suspect him to be the bull named MVUK - but the photo I have
of MVUK does not show the large notch at the outer top of his RH ear,
nor does it show the worn lower tip of the RH ear.
( I will try to get clarity on this elephants ID in the weeks to come.)

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Incidentally, a few minutes after capturing these photos a young bull arrived who was at least 50 - 60 cm taller at the shoulder than other young bulls in the party that had similar length tusks.

There certainly must be BIG bulls in the making at TEMBE !


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 Post subject: Re: Big Tuskers
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:00 am 
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Thinking that this is possibly Ngonyama...........seen on the S131 on Feb 8th 2013.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Big Tuskers
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:42 pm 
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Crested Val,
No doubt it is Ngonyama and a beautiful picture of him , hope you would like to send this one to me for updating his page :pray:
tuskers@zeelandnet.nl

[quote="Crested Val"]Thinking that this is possibly Ngonyama...........seen on the S131 on Feb 8th 2013.

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