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Emerging Tusker - Masthulele (Tihongongene)

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barryels
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Emerging Tusker - Masthulele (Tihongongene)

Unread post by barryels » Thu Dec 30, 2004 9:09 pm

Emerging Tusker - Masthulele (Tihongongene)

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Photo by Rob van Wijngaard

Origin of Name: “Masthulele, meaning ‘the quiet one’ has the honor of sharing his name with Dr Ian Whyte, who was given this name by the staff he worked with.

Range: Mooiplaas/Giriyondo, this bull has however been recorded as far south as Letaba and more recently in Cleveland Private Nature Reserve to the south of Phalaborwa.

Read more about Masthulele (Tihongongene) Here
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Current Tuskers please share your pics to

Unread post by robertson » Fri May 04, 2007 10:10 am

Can anyone tell me who this is out of the current tuskers

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Re: Big Tuskers

Unread post by DinkyBird » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:06 pm

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I took the pics above from Letaba camp during September 2009. I asked Kirsty to help ID my pics:
I think you have definitely captured Mastulele here, unfortunately he did not co-operate with you and manage to give you all angles of his ears but I am sure given the bulges/scars on the nose and clean ears that it is him.

The second tusker would appear given the thickness of the tusks and similarity in the shape of the tusks it is Tsotsi, unfortunately there is only one photo of him to be sure, but I think I am correct.

Below is the information for the 2 bulls form our files.

MASTHULELE (Tihongonyene)
Origin of Name: “Masthulele, meaning ‘the quiet one’ has the honor of sharing his name with Dr Ian Whyte, who was given this name by the staff he worked with.
Range: Mooiplaas/Giriyondo, this bull has however been recorded as far south as Letaba and more recently in Cleveland Private Nature Reserve to the south of Phalaborwa.
Special Features: Small v-shaped notch in the left ear towards the centre of the lobe. Masthulele has a thickened skin growth on the trunk, towards the narrowing section of the trunk. His tusks are fairly symmetrical with the left tusk curving slightly higher then the right.
General: This bulls name is very appropriate he lives up to the ‘quiet one’ reputation by being seldom seen, and had only been photographed twice at the time of naming. The first two series of photographs of this bull were both taken from the helicopter during the elephant censuses of 2003 and 2004. Both series were taken in the Tihongonyene Windmill area.
This elephant is named after the ethnic name of Dr Ian Whyte after motivation by Dr Johan Marais, Ms Kirsty Redman and Regional Ranger Louis Olivier, in July 2005.

Dr Ian ‘Mastulele’ Whyte: Dr Ian Whyte who completed his Ph.D at the University of Pretoria with a thesis titled “The Conservation Management of Elephants in the Kruger National Park”. Retired recently after, 37 years dedicated service to the Kruger National Park. Born in 1947 in Vereeniging, Dr Whyte started his career in 1970 as Technical Assistant: Dept. of Agricultural Technical Ser¬vices and proceeded to advance in the research field to the position of Program Manager: Large Herbivores: Kruger National Park, from which he retired in July 1997.

Dr Whyte’s many talents did not stop there and as a pilot become involved in annual fixed wing census in the Kruger National Park.

As an avid birder, Dr Whyte has acted as Ornithologist in the Kruger National Park between 1985 and 1998 (Co-ordination of ornithological research and other projects - translocation of Redbilled Oxpeckers etc.).

Dr Whyte has had many other noteworthy influences on conservation such as co-authoring a book on the birds of the Kruger National Park. He has also been the sole or senior author of 16 scientific publications and co-author of 15 others, senior author of seven chapters in technical books, plus two as co-author. Dr Whyte has authored of 38 Scientific Reports to South African National Parks, and 28 articles in popular journals.

Dr Whyte is married to Merle (née Retief) and has two children, Lorna (30) who is married to Section Ranger Steven Whitfield and who currently resides in the Tshokwane section of the Kruger National Park and Neil (29), who followed in his father’s footsteps in the conservation industry. He currently has five grand children.
(Information provided by Dr Ian Whyte)

TSOTSI
Origin of Name: Named in memory of Ampie ‘Tsotsi’ Espag, who spent many years in the service of the Kruger National Park as both a ranger and hospitality manager. (Tsotsi, meaning sneaky, trouble maker, skelm)
Range: Letaba Restcamp
Special Features: Tsosti has very symmetrical substantial weighted ivory, with the left tusk slightly more curved upwards then the right. There is a notable u-shaped notch in the right ear lobe towards the top, with a square notch approximately 15cm below this. 2 small holes approximately 5cm apart on the right ear lobe slightly below the centre part of the ear lobe, not always visible.
General: Tsotsi is a well know inhabitant of the Letaba area, who has a penchant for destroying fences around the camp and staff villages, it was for this reason that the staff felt it appropriate for him to share the name Tsotsi with Ampie Espag for his cheeky habits. He was first recorded photographically in 2004 by Kirsty Redman. At this stage while his tusks had significant weight they had not developed in length, none the less as a young bull he had the potential to develop. In the subsequent years Tsotsi has hit a growth spurt and his tusk length has almost double since he was first recorded. As a result it is felt that Tsotsi has the potential to become one of the Kruger National Parks big tuskers. Tsotsi was named in 2007 during the judging for the 2006 Emerging Tuskers Competition year.

Abraham/Ampie ‘Tsotsi’ Espag: (1924 - 2006) Abraham Jacobus (Ampie) Espag spent most of his adult life conserving nature in the Kruger National Park. He knew the Park like the palm of his hand and was a gifted story teller, spending many hours around camp fires, sharing his experiences and what with privileged listeners, whoever they were.

He started his career on 1 February 1954 as Section Ranger at Malelane. Poaching in that part of the Park was rampant at the time and Ampie’s relentless, often clandestine and highly successful efforts to curb the problem soon earned him the nickname of Tsotsi. He was still part of that generation of Section Rangers who patrolled the veld not per 4X4 vehicles, but on horseback, per donkey convoy, bicycle and on foot.

After ten years at Malelane, Ampie was transferred to N'wanetzi, a Ranger Section east of Satara rest camp, bordering Mozambique. Here, for the first time, he had to curb elephant poaching, escalating from out the neighboring country.

Six years later he was transferred to Tshokwane where, apart from his normal Section Ranger duties, he became very involved in the capture and translocation of game to other Parks.

He then became Section Ranger at Mooiplaas, next to Mopani rest camp at a time when elephant poaching from out Mozambique was a huge problem in the north of the KNP. His experience and knowledge of old, which he gladly shared with the younger generation, came in very handy during the multiple anti poaching operations during that time, resulting in a number of poachers being apprehended.

From there he went to Kingfisherspruit at Orpen Gate where he met with Phelwane, one of the biggest ivory carriers in the history of the KNP. Ampie and this legendary elephant shared various management incidents, some of which can be described as rather hilarious and of course quite breathtaking.

After retiring as Section Ranger, Ampie assisted at Punda Maria in the Tourism Department until he eventually retired in Pretoria where he passed away on 18 July 2006 at the ripe old age of 82.
(Information provided by Tant Sannie, Ampie’s much loved wife of many years)

Tsotsi was recently named as part of the 2006 emerging tuskers competition. A known resident of Letaba he has been monitored for some time due to his ‘cheeky’ habits around the Restcamp. It was for this reason that it was decided to name this bull after one of the long serving rangers in the Kruger National Park, Abraham ‘Ampie’ Espag (Tsotsi).

Ampie Espag started his career as a Section Ranger in the Malelane region in 1954. At this time poaching was rampant in the Kruger National Park and it was Ampie’s relentless and often clandestine efforts to curb poaching that earned him the nickname of ‘Tsotsi’. Ampie retired as section ranger after many years, but continued to assist at the Punda Maria camp in the Tourism department. Ampie sadly passed away at on the 18th July 2006 at the age of 82
(Extract from the Letaba Elephant Hall)
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Re: Big Tuskers

Unread post by iza123 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:56 pm

Can anyone tell me what's this great tusker's name? I spotted him between Olifants and Lataba.

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Is this Tsotsi?

Unread post by Ingwe123 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:58 am

Took these shots in KNP close to Letaba in 2007. Well, this is about as close as I can get to elephant apart from only 300mm lens... I am too freekin scared of them.

Going through the tusker Gallery, I wondered if this might be Tsotsi?

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Re: Identification Help – Tuskers

Unread post by Trrp-trrrrrrrr » Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:15 am

:yaya: RosemaryH :gflower:

Have one here although the images are not really very good as they are screen shots of the video. :redface: Do hope that the team will be able to ID with the limited view and advise, should it possibly be a Tusker.

Taken May 2012 in front of the restaurant at Letaba.

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Re: Identification Help – Tuskers

Unread post by AndreaB » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:23 pm

I was unware of this thread but one of the mods pointed me in the right direction. Does anybody recognise this chap who was carrying a set of impressive tusks, he chased us on the Roodewaal road :-)


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Re: Identification Help – Tuskers

Unread post by RosemaryH » Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:34 am

Hi AndreaB, indeed an impressive set of tusks.

At a glance, I would guess this is :hmz: Masthulele ( apart from the area perhaps) :) however, I am not an expert so I will send it on for an ID. When did you have this sighting? Nice pictures :thumbs_up:


:D AndeaB :D your request here :D
Seems I was correct with Masthulele :whistle: :wink:
Reply from SANParks
Rosemary, you are 100% correct.
The Roodewal Road would have thrown you off and rightly so as he does predominate in the Letaba, Mooiplaas area where most of our visitors see him, but his full range is large and does include the Klaserie adjacent to Orpen Gate and he has been seen in the Orpen are. We know he was in the Klaserie in early January through confirmed sightings from the warden of the area and from a submission that was received from a guide in the area and he was still there in mid-Jan. From previous historical sightings of him we usually expect him to head towards the Klaserie via Phalaborwa, as he has also been sighted in the Cleveland area adjacent to Phalaborwa prior to arriving in the Klaserie. However Roodewal although a new sighting area for him it is very feasible as it is also towards to the western boundry, and given the direction in which we know he was heading to or may be returning from given this was late Jan, makes the ID possible. It is interesting to hear he chased the guests as he is usually very placid, but he was confirmed to be in musth in Klaserie so that could account for his grumpy demeanor.

AndeaB :clap: :clap: Nice sighting and interesting info. Could you please email this sighting to tuskers@sanparks.org or directly to kirsty.redman@sanparks.org (in full resolution with details of the sighting) to include in the project. Your recording of him in the new area would add valuable data to their records.


Edit to include Kirsty's (SANParks) reply
Rose

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Re: Identification Help – Tuskers

Unread post by AndreaB » Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:05 pm

Excellent Rose, thanks very much, very exciting if we can put a name to him!

We saw him end Jan this year
11-13 June Pretoriuskop
13 -14 June Satara
15-16 June Shingwedzi

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Re: Emerging Tusker - Masthulele (Tihongongene)

Unread post by RosemaryH » Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:45 am

:D Trrp-trrrrrrrr - your 1st request for an ID posted here
I can say with confidence based on location and the time frame that this is Masthulele (named for Dr Ian Whyte). Given the size and shape of the ivory this is typical of him and there are very limited Tuskers of this size currently that we are aware of in the KNP. Masthulele is thought to be the longest carrier in the KNP at this stage. His condition in these images does not look great but he is known to fluctuate in this area and is an older bull, recent sightings of him in January have him in good condition and in musth having moved south to the Klaserie, we hope he will head back to Letaba over winter again as seems to be his habit in the last couple of years. A sighting of him is very special.
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Re: Emerging Tusker - Masthulele (Tihongongene)

Unread post by Afriphile » Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:42 pm

Saw this Tusker in December 2013 in the riverbed in front of Letaba restaurant.He was with 3 or 4 other bulls.

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Re: Identification Help – Tuskers

Unread post by AndreaB » Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:10 am

Thanks guys, good to know we have seen one of the great tuskers of Kruger, I will mail all the info that I have.
11-13 June Pretoriuskop
13 -14 June Satara
15-16 June Shingwedzi

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Re: Emerging Tusker - Masthulele (Tihongongene)

Unread post by AndreaB » Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:50 pm

Now that it has been confirmed, just wanted to add this photo to his file :-)


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Last edited by AndreaB on Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
11-13 June Pretoriuskop
13 -14 June Satara
15-16 June Shingwedzi

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Re: Emerging Tusker - Masthulele (Tihongongene)

Unread post by Crested Val » Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:56 pm

What a lovely Ellie. :dance:

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Re: Emerging Tusker - Masthulele (Tihongongene)

Unread post by maretam » Wed May 14, 2014 10:05 am

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Is this Masthulele? Saw him in front of the Letaba restaurant over Easter Weekend.


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