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Knysna Elephants

Knysna, Tsitsikamma, Wilderness
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KampRunner
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Unread postby KampRunner » Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:41 pm

Whilst running the Knysna marathon a few yrs ago I saw lots of 'pachy poo' on the ground and one could see the damaged vegetation where they crossed during the night.....so yes I believe there are still a few ellies in the forest.
If I'd seen one I'd probably have won the marathon :tongue: :!:
I dreamt of the red dunes again last night.....

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Jay
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Unread postby Jay » Wed Mar 22, 2006 9:12 pm

About 9yrs ago I was mountian biking in the Knysna forest and came across still steaming dung :shock: lots of it, didn't stop to check it out, cycled faster than I've ever done in my life. We were very deep in the forests at the time,on sinlge track, veeeery quiet and very dense...and yes, we got horribly lost at one time.

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Caught out

Unread postby Seahorse » Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:19 pm

Glenda wrote:Whilst running the Knysna marathon a few yrs ago I saw lots of 'pachy poo' on the ground and one could see the damaged vegetation where they crossed during the night.....so yes I believe there are still a few ellies in the forest.
If I'd seen one I'd probably have won the marathon :tongue: :!:


I believe you are the victim of a clever joke by one of our local councillors who, according to "sources" ,planted a few turds specially for the marthon runners. Seems to have worked. :)
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Anro
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Unread postby Anro » Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:42 am

Yes, I heard that it was near the Simola Golf Course, to help the runners on! Apparantly it was the then owner of the development that pulled the prank.

Good news in today's local Knysna newspaper is about recent sightings of elephants, with a photograph. I will try to scan the report and photograph in and post it as soon as I can get to a scanner.

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KampRunner
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Unread postby KampRunner » Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:53 pm

Anro my 'pachy poo' was deep in the forest making it even more real :!:
A good joke though :lol: :lol:
G :thumbs_up:
I dreamt of the red dunes again last night.....

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Anro
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Unread postby Anro » Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:34 pm

Well, Glenda, check this out and decide for youself. I think it could have been the real macoy. This is a copy of an article in the local newspaper in Knysna today:

"Forest elephants

Elephant sightings in the Knysna Forest have occurred as recently as January 26 and February 7 this year.
Says Hilton Herd of SANParks, "I saw it clearly through binoculars, it lay down and was digging in the ground with it's tusk. Unfortunately it smelt me and moved off. It was too dark to photograph."
The last confirmed sighting recorded by SANParks, was in November 2004 when the accompanying photographs were taken by Forest Guard, Wilfred Oraai.
According to Herd, it is extremely difficult to determine how many elephant remain in the forest, with opinion even amongst SANParks staff, varying from person to person.
The elephant sighted this year had a similar foot print to the one photographed in 2004, but has not been conclusively identi
fied as the same animal. Elephant seen at a distance in the forest are very difficult to distinguish one from another, with tears on ears and lengths of tusks having been used as identifying features. Drawbacks of this method, are that, over time, tears can increase and tusks can be broken off. Broken off tusks also grow.
An attempt is be ing made to capture images of the eye and surrounding area. Another method which will possibly be explored is analysis of elephant dung.
Says Herd, " They love breaking signboards, they rip them out with the planted pole and carry them for about 200m and stamp on them.
"They're also fond of damaging the machines that the forestry people use. The elephant picks up and throws over the little diesel carriers.
"When the sawn timber is piled up, they overturn the neat piles.
"One was even known to puncture an approximately 8ft high, R 3000 tyre, belonging to a road building vehi-cle."
On approximately February 6 this year, evidence was found of an elephant having pulled a dead bush-pig around. When the
location was visited the next day, the dead bush-pig was covered with branches and surrounded by fresh elephant footprints."

And if I can figure out how to post a picture, I can even post a copy of the picture taken by Wilfred Oraai!

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Anro
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Knysna Elephants

Unread postby Anro » Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:39 pm

This picture was on the front page of the local newspaper in Knysna yesterday

Image

The story with it is as follows:

"Forest elephant can now be identified

Although there have been elephant sightings in Knysna's forests this year, the first clear photograph since November 2004, was taken earlier this month. The photograph shows blood vessel patterning in the elephant's left ear that will serve as a 'fingerprint' when used in comparison with other photos.
This system has been used successfully in the Addo Elephant Park in order to distinguish individual animals. It is hoped that this will go some way towards answering the mystery of how many forest elephant remain in the Knysna forest. Wilfred Oraai and Karel Maswattii, experienced forest elephant trackers, were on their usual weekly search for elephant signs, when they came across fresh tracks. Assessing the weather conditions, they split up and moved to strategic points in order to get a photo of the animal. Suddenly Wilfred heard cracking noises about 60m ahead of him and climbed a young pine tree to get a better view. As he zoomed in and focused the video camera on the animal, the branch he was standing on broke off and he fell to die ground, camera and all. The elephant heard the commotion and took off, unfortunately right in Wilfred's direction. When Wilfred eventually got to his feet the animal was very close to him but fortunately ran past. Wilfred feels he is lucky to be alive and thanks die powers that be for this. Particularly so as this was a Fynbos area, which poses far more danger when encountering elephant."

I think we can now accept that there are elephants in the forest, since April Fool's day was 3 weeks ago!

Loams, eat your heart out!
Last edited by Anro on Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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avon vosloo
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Unread postby avon vosloo » Fri Apr 21, 2006 7:08 pm

I vaguely recall a tv program some time ago where they had video footage as evidence of Ellies in the forest. It included something about the trackers as well.

Just imagine - if an Ellie can play hide and seek in the forest what about the rest of the animals? like the dappled one's.

As an example, I personally saw a serval (tierboskat) out on a farm in the Magalliesburg mountains about a year ago.

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Anro
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Knysna Elephants

Unread postby Anro » Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:00 pm

Someone told me tonight that today they found a helicopter that crashed in the Knysna forest at Diepwalle seven years ago. It could not be found in an extensive search back then. Apparantly some woodcutters came across it now, still with the skeletons of the occupants.

Now try and find an animal that does not want to be seen in the forest !

No wonder something as big as an elephant can just vanish in the forest.

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Knysna Elephants

Unread postby Garra » Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:47 am

I am a new member to your site and find it extremely interesting. The Knysna Elephants have always been a controversial issue (whether they exist or not) but my husband has seen one :shock:. I agree with Anro, if you can't find a helicopter in the forest for 7 years, what makes you think that you will be able to find an elephant?

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Anro
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Unread postby Anro » Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:59 am

DuQues wrote:And they exist. Their names are: Bulelo, Duma, Harry, Jabari, Malaika, Mukwa, Nandi, Safari, Sally, Satara, Shaka, Thaba, Thambile and Thandi.

Harry and Sally are the oldest, Thandi was born oktober 16 last year.

Of course this is from Knysna Elephant Park. :wink:


:)
Yes, they do, but these gentle giants in the park are only the reminder to us of those "invisible" ones roaming in the forest. And they are so invisible because they were relentlessly hunted and killed before.

I think there might be truth in the saying that an elephant never forgets. It seems that they never forgive, either!

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Unread postby Loams » Tue Jun 20, 2006 2:08 pm

2 bugs for the Knysna Plett Herald!!! My word, what a rip off!!!!

Anyway, Nice pics those. Jay, how about we do the mountain bike race in July 2007 and then take a slight "detour" to go look for them ellies??? :twisted:

Also, did you guys notice the small tusks on the ellie??? It is a feature of forest ellies
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Anro
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Unread postby Anro » Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:04 pm

Marcel van der merwe wrote:This website has more information on the wild Knysna elephants.


:D WOW, Marcel, thank you! This website makes some interesting reading. I nearly forgot about the lions at Botliers. Will have to visit them soon.

Weather permitting, I will have to see the forest again this weekend. Is at the moment a bit cold and wet in there!

Thanks again for your posting.

Jumbo

Unread postby Jumbo » Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:14 pm

I, by chance, found some interesting reading on the African forest elephants that are found in Central and Western Africa. Seems that they have only recently, through DNA testing, discovered that the Forest Elephant (Loxodonta cycloti) is a completely different specie than the African savannah elephant (Loxodonta africana).
Before this discovery it was believed that there were only two different species of elephants in the world: the African savannah elephant and the Asian elephant, (Elephas maximus). The elephants that were found in the forests of these African countries were believed to be Savannah elephants that merely adjusted to forest living.
Now some scientists even believe that the difference between the Forest elephants and the Savannah elephants are as much as the difference between tigers and lions.

This got me thinking about the possibility that the elephants that were found (are still found) in the Knysna forest, were actually African forest elephants? Do any of you know whether this was ever determined…Seahorse?

According to this and this, the forest elephants are smaller than the savannah elephants and their tusks are straighter and thinner…also has more rounded ears.

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Unread postby Bush Baptist » Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:39 pm

Where do the desert elephants of Damaraland, Namibia fit into this scenario, Jumbo. Any Idea?
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".


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