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Big Tuskers

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Fri Feb 11, 2005 3:05 pm Unread post
My family and I had the pleasure of sighting Shingwedzi in late 1980. I was very young at the time but i can vaguely remember it.... my dad took a pic of him, which my sister claimed and treasures to this day!!!
as i recall he died soon after that....... all i remember is that it was him and he had two escorts with him and that he hung his trunk over his larger tusk... he crossed the road and his head looked so heavy.......and of course... HE WAS HUGE!
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Re: Duke Died??

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Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:53 pm Unread post
The Magnificent 7

The museum at Letaba displays the tusks of the 'Magnificent 7' and there are (or were?) still a few in the park including Duke I believe, but the original Big 7 were:
Joao
Ndiuiamithi
Kambaku
Mafunyane
Dzombo
Shawu and
Shingwedzi
I am not sure how many Big Tuskers there are in the park at this time - hopefully the Kruger spokesperson can tell us.

The Kruger National Park's greatest Tusker of all time was an elephant called Mandleve. At his death (of old age), he was +/- 56 years old, and carried 142 Kg (± 315lbs.) of ivory


Re: Duke

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Tue Mar 22, 2005 12:39 pm Unread post
Penny wrote
Duke is alive and well - no truth to the rumour that he has died. Thought you would all be relieved to know.


Hi Forumites

Thank you Penny. I can confirm that, as far as we know, Duke is certainly alive. I have heard from Dr Ian Whyte - the KNP's elephant expert scientist - that Duke is probably the biggest tusker in the world at the moment as KNP elephants are thought to carry bigger ivory than anywhere else.

Just so that you know, Duke wasn't part of the original "magnificent seven" but was discovered as part of the KNP's Emerging Tuskers project. Together with scientists and elephant enthusiasts from outside the KNP, we are in the process of identifying the really big tuskers and invite people to send in their photographs of elephants with big tusks to us. If you have a good pic, send me a PM and I'll advise you of the email address.

None of the original "Magnificent Seven" are alive anymore. You can get details of them at the Letaba Elephant Museum.

By the way - Duke is in the SOUTH of the KNP! His home range centres on the waterhole called "Duke" (named after a ranger and where he gets his name from) which is to the South of Lower Sabie. Duke - who is known for his calm and relaxed way - has been seen as far North as Tshokwane and as far South as Crocodile Bridge. Incidentally, I have never seen him personally, but guests often send photographs of him to us and thus I have quite a collection of photographs of him.

Trust this helps

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman



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Thu Mar 31, 2005 6:36 am Unread post
It looks like "Shimatsi" meaning left in Tsonga, I wonder if it is the same one I saw in 2004 near Shingwedzi?

More info please Acekam


Kambaku

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Thu Mar 31, 2005 6:56 am Unread post
Kambaku

The heaviest tusker of the magnificent 7 was crippled in the knee by farmers when it roamed outside the Park. Rangers had to relieve him from his suffering.

He was never seen with an askari, always alone.
His Tsonga name meant "big elephant".
He roamed a huge area between Tshokwane and Croc river.

Interesting was when he was examined after being shot dead many bullets was found in his body including a .22 calibre slug.

Who the hell in his right mind was trying to kill an elephant with a .22, I wonder?

Left tusk 63.2kg and 259cm
Right tusk 64kg and 265cm

Tusks to be seen in the elephant museum in Letaba.



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Thu Mar 31, 2005 8:03 am Unread post
wildtuinman wrote
It looks like "Shimatsi" meaning left in Tsonga, I wonder if it is the same one I saw in 2004 near Shingwedzi?

More info please Acekam


See this for potential great tuskers:

Potential great tuskers


Phelwana

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Wed Apr 06, 2005 6:11 am Unread post
Phelwana

According to Ampie Espag and many others who knew him, Phelwana was a real Musketeer, a gentleman of note.

He would break through Ampie's fence at Kingfisherspruit to get to he fruit trees. Ampie had to fire warning shots @ him to get him out again. After he realised that people from the nearby Maroela camp was fearing for the lives he got a "sweep", what is the english word?, and gave Phelwana a hiding on consecutive visits causing Phelwana to run holes right throught the fence.

One day Phelwana decided that he would only move when he felt like it, he got his last branch from the tree and slowly moved back to the broken fence where he entered. He gently stepped right over the flower box of Ampie's wife without touching anything and wandered off into the veld.

He also loved to prevent cars from coming by on the roads and many of the field staff on bicycles had to ask very nicely to pass him. They had to get off from the bikes and push it past him and only get back on after the past him.

He was unfortunately injured by a heavy calibre gunshot which detroyed his jaw. His condition deteriated to the point where he had to be put down by rangers in 1987.

Earlier a hunter was photographed where he stood infront of Phelwana with an empty rifle as he was afraid that he would not resist to shoot him. The Park was also offered R100 000 by a hunter to shoot Phelwana.

A truely magnificent legend of the Kruger National Park. Great pity that I never got the chance to c him in real life.


Letaba the elephant

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Wed Apr 06, 2005 6:24 am Unread post
Letaba

Who was lucky enough to have met him and his 3 buddies? The size of these ele's was remarkable. They would scale a fence of 1.37m without touching it.

They liked to enter the Letaba restcamp untill the electric fence was erected.

I saw a huge bull in 2002 right next to the fence right in front of our tent. I wonder if it was Letaba?



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Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:49 pm Unread post
I was lucky enough to see the Great Letaba. We were staying at the Melville House and one night at around 7pm he ambled up to the fence. He grazed there for a while then tried to bash the fence down. The fence had just been fixed as he had broken through about 4 days prior to us arriving. He gave up after a bit but stayed around for about 1hr. He was really big and it was quite scary. I did take pics but did not think to bring any pics with me when I moved to Canada. I gave all my pics to my brother. I have been nagging him to send them to me.



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Sun Jun 26, 2005 5:00 pm Unread post
DinkyBird saw Duke beginning of May.

[edit] and almost forgot :redface: ... I saw Mashagadzi near Shingwedzi camp 31 Dec/1 Jan[/edit]


Last edited by Jose on Sun Jun 26, 2005 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.


ID this elephant

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Mon Aug 15, 2005 7:49 pm Unread post
Saw this bull twice at Satara, does anybody know him,does he have a name? He was in the beginning stages of musth!!
Image


Magakadzi

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Fri Aug 19, 2005 2:19 pm Unread post
Can anyone tell me if they have news of Magakadzi (I think that's how you spell his name?), the big elephant bull that lives along the road to the Shingwidzi camp? I last saw him in 2003.


Re: Magakadzi

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Fri Aug 19, 2005 2:54 pm Unread post
Baobab Hill wrote
Can anyone tell me if they have news of Magakadzi (I think that's how you spell his name?), the big elephant bull that lives along the road to the Shingwidzi camp? I last saw him in 2003.
I made a nice peace of film of mister Mashagadzi in januari 2005 just near Shingwedzi in the riverbed. He is big but Duke from Lower Sabie is the biggest one.I was in august in Shingwedzi but i didn't see Mashagadzi. Maybe he is gone because of the dryness to find a better place for food. The nature arround Shingwedzi is a disaster area. Lots of trees are compleet destroyed. Verry sad to see.



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Fri Aug 19, 2005 9:02 pm Unread post
Wow, took this picture in January 2002 near Shingwedzi. Didn't even know he had a name, just thought it was a nice, big ellie :redface: (I pressume it is the same one)
Image



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Sat Aug 20, 2005 3:46 pm Unread post
Here they are, they're overexposed and not yet cropped from the slide scanning, but here they are (hope this works):

Image
Image
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