Great game sightings

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Jun 25th, 2005, 02:54 PM
  #1
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Great game sightings

To all those getting ready to leave on a Kenyan safari just wanted to report great game sightings (at least at Tsavo East National Park).

I just got an email from a wildlife conservationist who has lived in Tsavo for over 50 years and she states: Last week "I think I saw more game than at any other time in Tsavo. The elephant herds were all around, so our orphans were enjoying plenty of contact; there were huge herds of eland, zebra and the amazing buffalo herd of l500 strong, plus some mean looking huge Tsavo lions feeding on a buffalo in the Loop Circuit, and giraffe in numbers feeding on the Acacias the elephants have planted in their dung which has replaced the Commiphora scrub and turned the Park into the second highest revenue earner in the country".

Glad to hear that Tsavo has a great population of wildlife. Hope it stays that way until I get there in August!

Am also hopeful that whatever park you are going to be staying in, the profusion of wildlife will be astounding for you all.

For any of you elephant lovers out there, check out www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org and click on updates. This story is especially meaningful to me because this huge old bull is a fairly regular visitor to the waterhole in front of my tent whom I have videotaped often. He is very gentlemanly. At one point he was found standing on a board over a septic system. The men were afraid his weight would break the board and he would fall through. A KWS ranger living at the camp just started talking to him quietly and saying "back, back" while inching toward him, and the bull did exactly as hoped for!!

There aren't many old bulls like this left in Africa today because of their ivory, and one can only hope that he will survive. Say a few prayers for him please.

Jan
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Jun 26th, 2005, 02:05 AM
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Thanks Jan...

We heard more on this trip about how the intense poaching of the big tuskers has actually had a noticeable effect on elephant genetics now.

As with any variation, big tusks were passed down through genetics and when so many were killed, those genetic strains were lost forever.

There are now several regions which commonly see families with no tusks at all and, of course, all around Africa, it's very rare indeed to come across true big tuskers at all, even though it's been long enough now in many parks that there should be a few again - but the genes just weren't passed on.

So sad.

Tsavo is still on my wish list, thanks in no small part to your reports on it, Jan.
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Sep 22nd, 2005, 12:46 AM
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Very interested to hear and see this great tusker. I am currently doing a book on great tuskers. Does anyone know where I can possibly obtain photos of this magnificent bull? [email protected]
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Sep 22nd, 2005, 02:17 AM
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JohanMarais:

I don't have any still photos, only on video. There are so few of these guys left that we can only hope that they survive to pass on their genes. There are several big bulls that I have enjoyed watching at Tsavo, but they were missing in August. It is hoped that they have only moved off for better food sources and have not been killed. Everyone keep your fingers crossed please.
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Sep 22nd, 2005, 06:27 AM
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Jan, thanks for sharing this interesting Tsavo update. When I was in Tsavo East in June last year I was told it wasnít the best time of the year for game viewing, but I saw elephants everywhere, a very big herd of buffaloes, lions and lots of other animals. Unfortunately, I didnít see any big tuskers. I saw the film crew that took the June 2004 picture of the big bull that was wounded and cured in June this year. Have you heard any more recent updates about him? Maybe itíd be best not to mention that there are big tuskers in Tsavo. Or, am I paranoid? Just hope there are no poachers on Fodorís Ö

Have you heard anything about the translocation from Shimba Hills? There havenít been any updates on the KWS website for a while.
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Sep 22nd, 2005, 07:14 AM
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Thanks. I wouldn't recommend reading about the death of little Kwale unless you are at a computer where you can sob in private. It is good to know these things...but so very hard.
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