Monday, May 3, 2010

Addo elephant bull

There was an article in the newspaper this morning about one of the younger big elephant bulls in Addo Elephant National Park killing one of the older ones. It made me go and have a look at my elephant pictures to see if I had a nice picture of an elephant bull. I found this one that was taken a couple of years ago when I was still tour guiding. We were in Addo in a 11 seater minibus which I was driving. This big bull came walking down the road and headed straight at us. He showed no aggression, but also no intention of leaving the road. Thus leaving us right in his way. When my reverse lights came on the cars behind me saw that they had to get out the way and scattered. I made sure I stayed far enough in front not to irritate him. After a minute or so he changed direction and mozy'd off into the bush. While I was reversing the tourists in the bus was clicking away and this pic was sent to me by Paul Settle of the UK.

For the story, click this: Tourists watch in horror as elephant gored - News 24

As a large group of tourists watched in horror a young elephant bull killed an older one in a fight at the Addo Elephant National Park last Thursday.Mandy Roets, marketing manager of SANParks' Frontier district, said Paul, a bull in his 30s, impaled the brain of Skukuza, 47, with one of his tusks. Tourists saw Paul chasing Skukuza, who only had one tusk, around the park throughout the afternoon."When Skukuza fell down, Paul dealt the death blow by piercing Skukuza's brain with his tusk."While it's an upsetting event to watch or hear about, we have to accept it because it's part of the animals' natural behaviour," said Roets.Skukuza was one of eight elephants which were relocated from Kruger National Park to the Addo Elephant National Park five years ago.Paul - also from the Kruger Park - arrived at Addo a few months after Skukuza.The eight elephants were specifically chosen for relocation to improve the quality of the gene pool at Addo.Skukuza's right tusk was damaged during the journey to his new home, and he lost it shortly after he arrived at Addo."Skukuza was peaceful and never showed any signs of aggression toward other elephants or tourists."Unfortunately Paul is at the stage where younger males challenge older males in an attempt to gain dominance."It happens most often during mating season, when elephant bulls can act aggressively toward one another."


  1. That sounds horrible. Glad it didn't happen when you were there.

  2. It must have been quite an event with this elephant in the rear view mirror. Seems as though you kept calm and reacted correctly. Saved the day. Well done.

    The up close and personal photograph with the elephant is excellent, especially as no telephoto was required :)

  3. Awesome photo, gruesome story!