Past Tusker - N’watindlopfu

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RosemaryH
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Past Tusker - N’watindlopfu

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DSC_8213 (3).JPG
Photo Joep Stevens

Origin of Name: N’watindlopfu spruit in the Kruger National Park meaning ‘spruit of the elephants’ in Tsonga and refers to the historical site where in 1987 a striking and relatively well preserved panel of rock paintings depicting a group of four elephants on a small granite koppie alongside this spruit was found. The is reference to the proof of the early existence of elephants in the Kruger National Park and therefore links to this great discover that was this bulls sudden appearance as a large tusker.
Named in Recognition of Dr Anthony ‘Xigcoko’ Hall-Martin: Dr Hall-Martin was a well-known Conservationist and Scientist who did a lot to promote the legacy of the KNP elephants especially during the initial contriversial culling period.’Xigcoko’ the name given to him by his staff means ‘Hat’ in Tsonga was in reference to Anthony’s vigilance in always wearing a hat. Dr Hall-Martin was very aware of skin cancer due to his sensitive skin and was never seen without a hat and long sleeves, going as far as having the florescent light bulbs in his office replaced with normal fittings.
Range: This bull is a fairly new discovery and his current range centers on the area between Babalala Picnic Spot and the Shingwedzi Camp, with Babalala being the predominate area in which he is seen, he has been seen as far south as Letaba but it would seem his preferred location is in the far north.
Special Features: Small u&v-shaped notches in the right ear throughout the lobe. A larger u & v-shaped nick is present in the upper part of the same lobe. The left lobe has more distinct markings and when fully open an inverted wide u-shape is visible in the middle of the lobe. In the lower level of the lobe small u&v-shaped notches are visible. N’watindlopfu has a very slightly thickened area of skin on the upper and middle regions of his trunk. There is a small elongated growth on the upper front thigh that is visible from his left side. His ivory is what would be referred to as the typical Kruger shape with one tusk long and straighter then a slightly shorter more curved tusk curving at different levels. In his case the right tusk is the straighter and shows indication of an old chip off the tip.
General: This large bull had an interesting start in the tusker’s project, a sighting on the 31st July 2014 initially created great confusion as to an ID on such an impressive bull due to an unclear location and similarities to other known bulls. Through back-tracking it was established that he was seen north of Shingwedzi towards Babalala and it was confirmed as we had suspected that we had a new tusker. Further submissions by regular contributors in quick succession recently close to Babalala with clear images of the left ear markings and tusks confirmed this bull as a new tusker to the area leading to his naming.

Sadly, a message was received from Mooiplaas section ranger Joe Nkuna on the 25th May 2023 that a carcass of a large tusker had been discovered at Groetvlei dam. Unfortunately, the identifying ear markings could not be seen to safely confirm an ID. Once processed and cleaned, images of the tusks and sightings images were studied, using the ‘tusk tattoo’ markings to match the tusker. Through this process it could be confirmed to be the carcass of N’watindlopfu. Prior to his death he had unusually stayed local to the Mopani area for several weeks after an annual visit to the Letaba section. It was suspected his health was the reason for this localization as his normal pattern would be to return to the Vlakeplaas section and his preferred range. His body condition at this time was showing signs of deterioration. The location of the carcass indicated he may have been attempting to head further north.

Cause of death is recorded as natural. An injury on his left front foot was noted in early May and his leg was noticeably swollen which was clearly visible in the last images of him received on the 15th May, it is possible that this may have accelerated his death or left him susceptible to a bull fight.

N’watinlopfu at the time of his death was regarded as the current largest tusker in the Kruger National Park and his ivory certainly showed that he was a true contender, superseding some of the Magnificent 7 in length and weight. On retrieval of the lower jaw he is estimated to have been between 47 and 49 years of age.
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RosemaryH
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Re: N’watindlopfu

Unread post by RosemaryH »

A great sighting and contribution to the project of N'watindlopfu submitted on the SANParks KNP FB page.

N’watindlopfu Hein Alberts 1 FB SANParks KNP Between Punda and Babalala 5 Freb 2014 Shitangeni WH.jpg
N’watindlopfu Hein Alberts 1 FB SANParks KNP 5 Freb 2014 Shitangeni WH.jpg


Photo's & sighting by Hein Alberts
See FB post here
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Mischief
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Re: N’watindlopfu

Unread post by Mischief »

Rose thank you :k for keeping the Forumites updated as well.
"Nature is not a place to visit. It is home."- G.Snyder
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Crested Val
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Re: N’watindlopfu

Unread post by Crested Val »

Thanks Rose. :dance:
Missing my beloved Kruger!!!
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RosemaryH
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Re: N’watindlopfu

Unread post by RosemaryH »

A super sighting of N’watindlopfu was submitted to the SANParks Tusker Project by
Neil Tavener via the SANParks KNP FB page.
Thank you Neil for the valued information :thumbs_up:
Neil Tavener SANParks KNP FB 13 Aug 2018.jpg
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Re: N’watindlopfu

Unread post by Crested Val »

Thanks for the update. :dance:
Missing my beloved Kruger!!!
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Re: Identification Help – Tuskers

Unread post by tetrol88 »

I have a couple from July this year - first off I think is Ngonyama - three of us had cameras so there are probably about 60 pictures taken lol - was heavy overcast and late in the day.
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22/10/19 Mopani 3 nights
25/10 Satara 3 nights
28/10 Lower Sabie 3 nights
31/10 Biyamiti 2 nights
2/11 Skukuza 2 nights
Out of park 4-8/11
9/11 Skukuza 3 nights

and Kgalagadi booked June-July 2020 :)
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RosemaryH
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Re: N’watindlopfu

Unread post by RosemaryH »

Great sighting and contribution of N’watindlopfu to the project, thanks tetrol88 :thumbs_up:
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Re: N’watindlopfu

Unread post by RosemaryH »

A great submission of N’watindlopfu to the SANParks Tusker Programme by Eben Van de Vyver via a FB PM :thumbs_up:

Eben  van de Vyver  SANParks FB PM  2 Jan 2017   30 October 2018 - Copy.jpg
Eben  van de  Vyver  SANParks FB PM  2 Jan 2017   30 October 2018 - Copy.jpg
Eben  van de  Vyver  SANParks  FB PM  2 Jan 2017   30 October 2018 - Copy.jpg

Photos Eben Van de Vyver
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RosemaryH
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Re: Current Tusker - N’watindlopfu

Unread post by RosemaryH »

A great submission of N’watindlopfu to the SANParks Tusker Programme by Jacques Nel via th SANPark KNP FB Group

Great sighting and great shots Jacques. Thank you.

Jacques Nel FB Submission of N'watindlopfu.JPG
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Karin Mitton
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Re: Current Tusker - N’watindlopfu

Unread post by Karin Mitton »

Beautiful animal.
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Re: Current Tusker - N’watindlopfu

Unread post by manicwalker »

Super photos of a great tusker :clap: :clap: :clap:
Thanks Jacques & Rosemary :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:
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Re: Identification Help – Tuskers

Unread post by konagirl »

Hi, we met this wonderful ellie and his side-kicks in Nov 2021, and wondered if he is a named tusker or emerging tusker?

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RosemaryH
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Re: Identification Help – Tuskers

Unread post by RosemaryH »

Hi konagirl
Please inbox me with your sighting details. Thanks :gflower:
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Re: Identification Help – Tuskers

Unread post by RosemaryH »

Thanks for the information konagirl.

Great sighting of N'watindlopfu :D

Thanks for your submission and contribution to the project :gflower:
Rose
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