Current Tusker - Mondzweni

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Current Tusker - Mondzweni

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Current Tusker - Mondzweni

Mondzweni - Dave Jackaman.jpg
Photo by Dave Jackaman

Origin of Name: Mondzweni originates from the name of a borehole(named by Section Ranger Gus Adendorff, see Bidzane). situated alongside the N’waswitsontso River on the bend where it changes course to flow south to Ngwenyeni. Mondzweni meaning “at the Leadwood tree” in Tsonga was felt to be an appropriate choice due to the Leadwood’s that predominate in the general range of this formidable tusker.

Special Features: From a frontal view the tusks of this bull resembled the shape of Joao, with a straight line ending in a gentle curve inwards. The ivory has weight as well as length. The ears bear distinct markings making his identification easier. His left ear lobe has a sharp v-shape notch in the higher regions, just below this is a wide but shallow v-shaped notch and above it higher up is a shallow small u-shaped notch. On the same lobe towards the middle is a R2 sized hole about 15cm in from the edge of the lobe. The right ear lobe has considerably more notches, starting with a long shallow u-shape notch that develops immediately afterwards with a double notch forming the appearance of an out of shape W. Above this in the middle of the lobe a further deep u-shape with a slight skin extension in the middle and shallower u-shape adjacent to this can be found. Towards the top of the lobe is a small v-shaped notch that is not always visible. A small thickened area of skin can be seen on the trunk at certain angles on the right of the trunk below the lip line of the tusks.

On 5th November 2020 Elephants Alive made the decision to collar Mondzweni due to the increased time he was spending in the APNR and to monitor his musth cycles. He has been named Kilimanjaro by the research team there but as his naming in SANParks preceded the collaring his original given name still applies within SANParks.
A recent sighting by Dave Jackaman reported on the 28th September 2021in the APNR sadly showed Mondzweni had broken his right tusk. The break is severe with only approximately 20-30cm of his right tusk still remaining. Given the thickness of this bull’s ivory this was unexpected and it is hoped given his young age that this tusk will recover some of the lost length.
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