New elephant tusker joins Addo Elephant National Park

2019-09-19 06:00
Addo Elephant National Park received the first of three elephants which were donated by Tembe Elephant Park in KwaZulu-Natal in a bid to increase the elephant population.              Photo: Supplied.

Addo Elephant National Park received the first of three elephants which were donated by Tembe Elephant Park in KwaZulu-Natal in a bid to increase the elephant population. Photo: Supplied.

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ADDO Elephant National Park (AENP) has a new inhabitant, and one which, if spotted, will be immediately recognisable, with a shoulder height of 3.18m and tusks measuring an impressive 1.39m from the lip out.

The 35-year-old Tembe which weighs an estimated six tonnes, was introduced into the Park recently 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 the Addo’s elephant numbers are currently in excess of 600 animals and it is vital that they continue to supplement the population genetically which was the reason for bringing Tembe into the Park.

“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,” he said.

De Goede said 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 their elephant population.

De Goede said the actual operation of moving the elephant was no mean feat.

The process which was headed up by SANParks’ Veterinary Wildlife Services, involved two drivers, one veterinarian, two veterinarian technicians and many other pairs of hands and took in excess of 36 hours to complete.

De Goede said Tembe appears to be adapting well and he hopes to get the other two bulls into Addo before the end of the year.

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