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Photographed by Arks Smith:
Ms Smith was the winner of the 2006 Kruger National Park Emerging Tuskers Competition. By winning Ms Smith was given a chance to accompany the KNP’s elephant researcher, Dr Ian Whyte and KNP veterinary surgeon Dr Markus Hofmeyr on a research trip to capture and put a tracking collar on an elephant.
Ms Smith’s contribution identified a new tusker and provided an exact location of where the elephant was seen, plus provided photographs taken from all angles of the ears, tusks and a full frontal of the bull, as well as DVD footage. On the strength of this data and the identification of a new tusker, this contribution was a unanimous winner.
Ms Arks Smith wrote 2 tripreports about her sightings with Bidzane. (28 and 30 april 2006)
Highlight was definitely my first encounter with another potential emerging tusker. This ellie is easily identified by the notch and hole in his left ear and may be Timaka, although from the information I've found about Timaka, he has previously only been seen considerably farther north. I saw a photo that was identified as Timaka in the Kruger Times and that was definitely the same one as this ellie — the notch and hole in the ear are unmistakable. However, the photo of Timaka on Sanparks website is quite different, so I think that this ellie, who I eventually saw for extended periods on three different occasions, is in fact not Timaka. On my first two encounters with him, he had an askari, but when I encountered him for a third time, he was all on his own. On all three occasions, he is the most mellow ellie I have even encountered, and I was very lucky indeed to spend so much quality time with him!
I planned today to drive several roads around Letaba that I'd not traveled before and on one (S47) I saw my first ever (and still only) klipspringer, while another (S95) brought me my second meeting with the same potential emerging tusker I'd first seen along the H1-5 two days before. He and his askari (who faded off into the mopani, so I never had a good view of him) were enjoying a mud bath at a little puddle just off the road and I heard them well before I actually saw them. Once I'd recognised the ellie as the same one I'd seen earlier — he is easy to recognise because of the distinctive notch and hole in his left ear — I stayed observing him until he moved away from the road into the thick mopani. It's definitely a special experience when you can recognise an individual animal — and this is definitely the most mellow ellie I've ever met.
Photographed by: Aat Vuik
Date : 22 february 2009
Location: North of Letaba in riverbed
Photographed by Keith Foster
Date : August 2005
Location: Letaba area
Photographed by Francois Botha
Date : July 27th 2009
Location: Near Letaba restcamp
Photos by Francois Botha
Tuskers of Kruger
Classically shaped tusks (not that long)
Left ear: A V-shaped notch near the center, a hole just under this notch
Right ear: Mainly
ID marks Tusks:
ID marks Ears :
Named after Gus Adendorff (a ranger in the KNP for 27 years)