Past Tusker - Muhluri

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Past Tusker - Muhluri

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Past Tusker - Muhluri

Muhluri - Morgan Hayes - 2018.jpg
Photo by Morgan Hayes

Origin of Name: Muhluri meaning “Victor or Victory” in Tsonga refers to this bulls remarkable survival story. Close to death in 2016 with a severe drought in play his condition was dangerously poor and chances were slim he would survive. However he did survive and his condition continued to improve making him the ultimate victor of his survival story.

Range: This bull was localized at Kumana dam during the severe drought, however with the improvement in his condition he has resumed his usual range stretching from Tshokwane to North of Satara. He has also been sighted towards Nsemani Dam on the Orpen Road.

Special Features: This bull was very distinct and could easily be identified both by his unusual ivory shape as well as his ear markings. This ivory carried substantial weight, from a front view his ivory was widely splayed and curved at different levels. These levels are more notable from a side profile with the left tusk curving higher than the right tusk. The left tusk had signs of a small break of the tip which appeared only in later pictures of the bull. The right ear lobe of Muhluri had a significant tear in the tip with a very ragged and uneven appearance. In the middle of the lobe there was a R1 sized hole followed just above by a shallow wide v and a small v-shaped notch. Small holes can be seen along the edge of the full lobe in various areas. Three areas of scarring were visible on the trunk in the center starting at the lip line level. Two golf ball sized skin nodules could be seen on the top of the right tusk lip line. His left ear lobe developed a ‘floppy ear’ appearance in 2017 and this appeared more prominently in some images over others. This may have been caused by bulls fighting or damage from vegetation.The left lobe had two holes the lower one R2 sized and further up a R5 sized hole in the middle of the lobe approximately 15cm from the lobe lining, higher up on the same lobe is a medium u-shaped notch.

General: This bull had been on the radar as an emerging tusker for some time, however with no significant tusk growth at the time the decision was made to monitor him.

In early 2016 he came into the spotlight again but not for positive reasons with images from Jackie Opperman and Section Ranger Robert Bryden showing his condition had deteriorated and he was in desperately poor condition. At this time he was mostly in the Kumana and Mazithi area. (Localising is a known sign of stress in older bulls and those in poor condition, who unable to cover large distances will localize to water sources and softer vegetation). Rangers in the area were not positive of his potential to survive the prevailing drought effecting the KNP at the time.

In late 2016 early 2017 after the relief of good rains Muhluri decided to prove his detractors wrong and returned to his usual stomping grounds covering larger distances but still remaining close to known water sources while slowly improving in condition. Images received in 2018 show an old bull but one in considerably better condition and who had now shown remarkable tusk development. These factors considered, it was determined that this bull deserved his elevation into large tusker status and the name ‘victory’ in recognition of him surviving against all odds.

Sadly the carcass of Muhluri was discovered in late January 2020 by N’wanetsi Ranger Robert Bryden. Based on the condition of the carcass, the cause of death was deemed natural. On inspection of the carcass an old healed wound was found behind the skull which could possibly have explained his earlier poor condition in 2015/6.

Muhluri Tusk Data.JPG
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Elsa
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Re: Past Tusker - Muhluri

Unread post by Elsa »

A lovely tusker. RIP.
Take time each day to be with nature
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Karin Mitton
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Re: Past Tusker - Muhluri

Unread post by Karin Mitton »

What a stunning animal.
Impressive tusks! :big_eyes:
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