Current Tusker - Ngonyama

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barryels
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Current Tusker - Ngonyama

Unread post by barryels »

Current Tusker - Ngonyama


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Photo by Christiaan Janse van Rensburg

Origin of Name: Named for Uys de Villiers (Tol) Pienaar who served in conservation for South African National Park for 36 years. (Ngonyama is the Tsonga word for ‘Lion’. This nickname derives itself from an incident on the 21st July 1956 when Tol was bitten by a lioness along the Timbavati spruit (where present day Roodewal camp is). Tol was also known for his green eyes that could flash like a lion’s when angry.



Read more about Ngonyama Here
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Crested Val
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Current Tusker - Ngonyama

Unread post by Crested Val »

Well I'll start the ball rolling here. :thumbs_up:

We saw this fella in Feb 2013 on the S133.

Please could SANParks confirm if it is a Tusker, and if so which one.
I have been told previously that it is Ngonyama.

Many thanks. :thumbs_up:

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Re: Identification Help – Tuskers

Unread post by Elsa »

Yes, I remember him well, what a wonderful sighting he gave us! :D
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Re: Identification Help – Tuskers

Unread post by Guinea Pig »

We have one too. Identified at Letaba as posiibly Ngonyama but the tusks don't match the description of the left one appearing longer than the right. Ours had a definite longer right tusk almost reaching to the ground and he wasn't friendly at all. Any help as to which bull this was would be appreciated. Seen on the tar road to Letaba, almost halfway on 15 February 2014:

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Re: Identification Help – Tuskers

Unread post by Crested Val »

Elsa wrote:Yes, I remember him well, what a wonderful sighting he gave us! :D


My first Tusker (if indeed he proves to be a recognised one!!!)
He was so placid if you remember Elsa.
I had an Ellie phobia at the time, but although we were quite close he did not mind us being there at all, and I felt very comfortable!!! :dance:
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Re: Identification Help – Tuskers

Unread post by RosemaryH »

Wow CV What an awesome sighting! I am sure you are correct but will pass it on for confirmation.
Stunning picture :D


Guinea Pig - Yours too being passed on for identification. Thank you :thumbs_up:
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Re: Identification Help – Tuskers

Unread post by RosemaryH »

Guinea Pig - the following applies to your submission :)
The Second image is not Ngonyama. The shape and lengths of the ivory are slightly different, this bull having much ‘sharper’ ivory and not as wide ivory.

We are also aware of this bull, he is however very newly noted in the Letaba area the first sightings of him here were received in January 2014. Previously he was noted in Mopani only with the first sighting being in June 2010. He was thought to be fairly older bull as previous images of him did not show him in good condition, but he certainly seems to have picked up condition in these images so would not be as old as previously thought. His left tusk shows in the other images received clear signs of a previous break which is a pity as he is a noteworthy bull, unfortunately the break is not clear in these images which could lead to confusion in the identification with Ngonyama.

He is also on our monitoring list as none of the previous images could offer any confirmations of ear markings to determine if he was an existing bull who had perhaps broken a tusk. He is a very shy bull normally (I noted here it was mentioned he was not friendly that would confirm the struggle to get decent images of him.) should the committee agree based on the new ear marking info confirming he is not a known bull, then he should be eligible for a name based on the length of the right tusk.


Thank you Crested Val and Guinea Pig. :clap: :clap:
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Re: Identification Help – Tuskers

Unread post by Guinea Pig »

:thumbs_up: Thanks very much!
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Re: Identification Help – Tuskers

Unread post by Crested Val »

Hi Rose - Thanks for the feedback. :clap: :clap:

I've checked my records and it was on Sat Feb 23rd 2013, and it was actually on the S131 but near the junction with the S133!!!

Elsa was with me, so she can verify. :thumbs_up:
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Re: Identification Help – Tuskers

Unread post by Crested Val »

RosemaryH wrote:Thanks Guinea Pig - no problem, it has be passed on for confirmation. :D

Thanks CV - I add that info on :thumbs_up: I love that picture - amazing shot!!


Thanks Rose, he posed so nicely. :lol: :lol:
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Re: Identification Help – Tuskers

Unread post by RosemaryH »

I've never met him but I think I am in love :wink:
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Re: Identification Help – Tuskers

Unread post by Elsa »

Yes, that where I recall seeing him and he had a few askaris with him, must have a look though my pics as I think we took some of them as well.
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Ngonyama

Unread post by RosemaryH »

Ngonyama

Crested Val :dance: :clap:
The first image is correctly identified as Ngonyama, (named for Dr Tol Pienaar), the small hole visible in the tip of the left ear as well as the thickening (similar to Mastulele’s) on the trunk are good tell signs. The shape of the tusks is also correct, this bull has fairly light ivory in compassion to some of the tuskers (despite being similar in shape) which is also a characteristic. For further reference if you get a left side profile him he has two growths on his pelvic/hip area which are also key with his identification.

It is very interesting that he was sighted on the S133, this is right in the middle of his known range (which mimics the tar triangle between Phalaborwa, Mopani and Letaba) but is a fair distance from Letaba an exact date would be valuable as he was confirmed at Letaba in late Jan and early Feb. It would be interesting to record over what time frame he moved that distance.

This is one of the things we are looking at and picking up through the project, we have found out through sightings such as this that the bulls have the capability of moving over very large distances in very short time frames, this appears to increases when the bulls are in musth as well.

For example recent sightings of Mastulele recorded that he covered a distance of approximately 85km in less than 12 days (this was the time between sightings) from the Malopenyana area to the Klaserie and according to Dr Ian Whyte if in musth this distance can be covered by a bull in a matter of days.
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Re: Ngonyama

Unread post by Meandering Mouse »

Those are serious tusks :big_eyes:
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Re: Ngonyama

Unread post by Elsa »

My pics of Ngonyama at the same time as Val's

58 8571336610_6e702e5f88_b.jpg


59 8570242391_fbc3f58938_b.jpg
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