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SANParks Elephants

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Aat
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Re: Identify an elephant with collar

Unread post by Aat » Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:09 pm

His name is Mellow , named by the STE (Save The Elephants) org.
By the collar they can track and trace some elephants to learn more about their movements.
I get a report every few months so I can see where some of them are, like Mac.
Mac was recently in the Mopani area (near Tsendze riverbed)

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Re: Identify an elephant with collar

Unread post by Ghislain Gosse » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:05 am

Many thanks for the identification
To put a name on an elephant gives a new dimension to this great animal, more affective!
Do you know the origin of the "hump/tumour" on its left side?

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Re: Identify an elephant with collar

Unread post by Aat » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:09 pm

The origin CAN BE the result of a fight with another bull.
Not that long ago (about a year ago) MAC had a similar injury but healed well.

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Re: Elephant

Unread post by Radman » Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:12 pm

Got these three amazing animals near Phunda-Maria early November last year

This guy kept on chasing all the cars

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Elephants - Kruger versus Moz

Unread post by Siobain » Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:41 pm

The last few years visiting Kruger I have noticed a large influx of Mozambiquan ellies into the park, and I have also noticed a decline in the Kruger ellies. I can remember 5 years back there were huge numbers of Kruger ellies from the south right through to the north; now it is possible that you could spend a day driving through the park and see very few ellies at all!

I am very aware of this as I used to be terrified of ellies, but thanks to my SO passing the big guys often on the road, I have been forced to face my fears and now am far more relaxed. :lol:

The Moz ellies are much smaller, with tiny straight little tusks and flatter, smaller heads. I still see quite a few big Kruger tuskers around, but far less Kruger family herds. Obviously the elephants do migrate into Moz and back into Kruger throughout the year.

I was wondering though, with the fence going up again between the two parks, what the balance of ellies will be - will we be left with a large number of Moz ellies in Kruger and many of the Kruger ellies still in Moz? My concern here is that our ellies, especially our tuskers, may become watered down and we will have fewer big tuskers in the future to come!

Is there going to be some way of controlling this?
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Re: Elephants - Kruger versus Moz

Unread post by Joao » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:15 pm

I wouldn't be able to tell a Moz Ellie from a Kruger Ellie.

Was the fence not removed to promote the influx of KNP elephants to the Mozambican side because of the small numbers of elephants on the Moz side?

When the fence was removed and Kruger elephants were guided into Moz it was only a short time before they returned to the KNP side. I find it strange that the elephants from Moz would not behave in the same manner and rather stay on the Moz side.

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Re: Elephants - Kruger versus Moz

Unread post by Rooies » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:33 pm

The question is were there any elephants left in Moz after the civil war? Both Frelimo and Renamo slaughtered the wildlife on a massive scale for food and for ivory to finance their war campaigns. Look what happened in Gorongoza. Perhaps large scale elephant hunting is still going on just across the border, thet we are not aware of.
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Re: Elephants - Kruger versus Moz

Unread post by johanrebel » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:52 pm

okie wrote:I would imagine if they had any game there at all , then certainly they do not have any poachers left :whistle: . They are all active in Kruger :evil:


I just read (http://allafrica.com/stories/201202060182.html ) that game numbers on the Mozambique side have increased by 15% in ten years!

They might as well admit outright that poaching and poisoning are HUGE problems! 15% in ten years is 1.4% per annum, which is ridiculously low for any of the species mentioned, especially as they are breeding in underutilized habitat with very low predator densities. In know someone who used to work as a guide at Machampane Wilderness Camp in the LNP. In two years he saw lions once: two young males lying dead at the side of the road, poisoned.

A normal rate of increase for large ungulates would be 5-7% per annum, which means populations ought to have doubled in the påst decade. An increase of just 15% is really bad news!

Johan

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Re: Elephants - Kruger versus Moz

Unread post by onewithnature » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:08 am

Interesting statistics, JR. :thumbs_up:

I have been going to Kruger for many, many years, and it has only been recently that I have noticed a new breed - call it perhaps a subspecies - of elephant in Kruger: one where the adults are often stunted in growth, where the heads are flatter and more angled, and the tusks are mostly toothpick-like. In addition, many of these herds are skittish and nervous; as an example, we recently saw one herd cowering and clustering together near Lake Panic and they were rushing around in a panic trying to cross the road.

I have no doubt that these elephants are of smaller dimensions and generally less impressive. I would be extremely surprised to learn that these are not Mozambiquan elephants who have moved across to Kruger. It would make sense that their proportions are less than the traditional Kruger elephant as one must assume that most of their large tuskers would have been poached, leaving mostly those with inferior genes.

If this is indeed the case then interbreeding between the large Kruger tuskers and smaller-statured cows should result in an increasing dilution of tusk-size and body size.

It would be interesting to hear from those who are closely involved in Kruger for the past decade or two regarding how they see this phenomenon.
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Re: Elephants - Kruger versus Moz

Unread post by Rooies » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:42 am

@onewithnature. IMHO, I don't think that the Moz elephants will have a negative impact on the Kruger population. On the contrary, the Kruger Bulls will be dominant when it comes to breeding and therefore ensure that the 'good' genes are carried over to future generations. I have mentioned it elsewhere that the elephants of the South Luangwa National Park are significantly smaller that our ellies because the big tuskers have all been poached.
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Re: Elephants - Kruger versus Moz

Unread post by Siobain » Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:02 pm

Thanks everyone for adding a different perspective on this, thanks Scips for the link. :D

I thought I'd just add a few photos.


These are the Ellies OWN mentioned, they were very nervous of the cars and ran around trying to find a gap to cross the road.



A group of youngsters, also very nervous at a waterhole.
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A nice big Kruger bull.
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Re: Elephants - Kruger versus Moz

Unread post by onewithnature » Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:00 am

Okay, so the way I understand it is if you take a big bull elephants and merge him with a small (Mozambiquan) cow, it seems there should be no dilution of size and strength in the progeny?
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Re: Big Tuskers

Unread post by adw » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:08 pm

Hello Aat, the day after the floods I came across this young elephant calf which had been separated from its mother. It was trying to feed off this large bull who seemed confused. The bull only had a left tusk of considerable size and I was asked if he was a known emerging tusker. Do you know this elephant. He was on the H1-3 just south of Kumana dam. Many thanks.

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Re: Elephants - Kruger versus Moz

Unread post by onewithnature » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:00 pm

From a genetic perspective, that makes little sense; however, if that is what happened, for example, in Addo, then perhaps there are aspects that need further investigation. :hmz: For example, did the new progeny fall in-between the dimensions of the Kruger and Addo ellies, or were the calves as impressive as the original Kruger stock? Let's hope that this was the case.
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Re: Elephants - Kruger versus Moz

Unread post by Friedrich von Hörsten » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:50 pm

Good afternoon,

What an interesting topic!

I am NOT a scientist or nature conservationist, but merely make observations based on lots of reading plus a bit of thinking.

To me it seems as if we are talking about a myth, not reality.
1. I doubt there were ANY serious numbers of elephants left in southern Mocambique in recent years -- that is why Sanparks spent millions of Rands to try and convince a few ellies that Moz is OK - they mostly came back home!
2. Free roaming elephants in areas where there are substantial populations of people -- not likely, especially with all the poachers coming to work IN Kruger...
3. Kruger has more elephants than ever before, and you regularly hear forumites mentioning herds of more than 100 elephants at a time...
4. Kruger bulls are NOT as big and all-conquering as we think -- the 10 bulls that went to Addo, have had a VERY hard time coping with those bulls in the Eastern Cape -- in fact some of the local dominant bulls had to be removed to private game reserves (like Shamwari?) so that the GIANTS from Kruger could have a chance to mate with local cows!
They have BIG tusks yes, and they are big, but I would suspect that any elephant bull from the desert areas of Southern Africa (Kaokoveld etc) are taller on average than our Kruger bulls (3.8+m at the shoulder)....
5. Tembe elephant park was NOT connected to Mozambique when I was there 3 years ago with school kids, but they were trying to create the Futi corridor so that the fence could come down and there could be free movement of elephant across the border. Yes, those bulls are big, and have huge tusks too, just like our tuskers in Kruger....

If elephants in Kruger are scared of vehicles, then it means they have most likely moved from remote areas in Kruger down to rivers during dry seasons, and are aggressive/scared of tourists (much wilder than Addo elephants), or they have been hunted by poachers recently! Maybe a few verdwaalde ellies from Moz could have ended up in Kruger, but I suspect the numbers would be VERY low, and they would not have any serious effect on our Kruger population.

As I said, just thinking.... If you have more accurate info for us, please post it -- would love to know!

Thanks for an interesting topic, and God bless,

Friedrich von Hörsten

PS Elephant movements vary dramatically each season -- I have found huge herds around Orpen in December, and this past Dec hardly any around Lower Sabie. Currently Martie says there are hundreds around LS!

I was in Hwange in October last year -- saw about 100 elephants the first four days -- I thought they had all been poached out!
Next day we saw about 700 in one pm at Guvalala platform, and the next day about 500 at Nyamandlovu platform. If I had left 2 days earlier, I would have been convinced the ellies were missing, poached, dead. But wrong conclusion -- rain caused the to scatter briefly...
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Addo
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