Addo Elephant National Park outside Port Elizabeth has a new inhabitant ‘Tembe’ a male elephant weighing in at an estimated six tonnes…

If spotted, he will be immediately recognisable – with a shoulder height of 3,18 metres and tusks measuring an impressive 1,39 metres from the lip out.

The 35-year-old Tembe was introduced into the Park on Saturday and is the first of three bulls which will be brought in as a donation from Tembe Elephant Park in KwaZulu-Natal.

Addo Park Manager, Nick de Goede, said that Addo’s elephant numbers were currently in excess of 600 animals and it was vital that the park continued to supplement the population genetically.

“The Park’s population is seen as a key elephant population within conservation circles nationally and internationally as it is one of the most well-researched and understood African elephant populations in the world,” said De Goede.

WIN a R 2,000 Woolworths Voucher

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

“It is for this reason that SANParks requested large bulls from Tembe Elephant Park about a year ago to supplement our elephant population. The Tembe elephants are known for the size of their tusks and are genetically diverse from the Addo elephants, making them ideal for improving the genetic diversity within our elephant population.”

He said that the 36-hour operation of moving the elephant was no mean feat, adding that the process was headed up by SANParks’ Veterinary Wildlife Services and involved two drivers, one veterinarian, two veterinarian technicians and many other pairs of hands.

De Goede said that he saw Tembe out in the Park earlier on Thursday and he appeared to be adapting well, walking with two other bulls

He said that they hoped to get the other two bulls into Addo before the end of the year.

Tembe Elephant Park is owned by the Tembe tribe and managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.

The chairperson of the Tembe Co-management Board, Vusi Sithole, was present during the capture and officially handed the bull over to De Goede.

“On behalf of SANParks, we would like to thank Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and the Tembe community for the kind donation of the bull. We would also like to thank Tembe Elephant Lodge for hosting the capture teams from SANParks and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife,” said De Goede.

“Network for Animals was also instrumental in making the operation a success by donating two satellite tracking colours and covering the expense of the helicopter for the duration of the capture.”

According to SANParks, Addo Elephant National Park was proclaimed in 1931 with only 11 elephants, of which only seven were known to be breeding animals.

Through the ’80s and ’90s, various research was undertaken on these animals and it was proven that the population had experienced a serious bottleneck, which led to a loss in genetic variation.

Due to the concerns about the genetic degradation of the population, a decision was made in the early 2000s to supplement the population with eight bulls from Kruger National Park.

SANParks said that most of the bulls have since died and currently only two were still known to be within the population.

Accommodation offers from

20,000 listings in 2,000 locations with 10,000 reviews.

Atlantic Palms

Bloubergstrand, Cape Town

Valid 11 Oct – 31 Oct 2019

Ballito accommodation offers

In KwaZulu-Natal > South Africa

 

Author: ANA Newswire