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Thread: The Knysna Elephants.

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    The Knysna Elephants.

    As the crow flies I am based about three hours drive from the Knysna Forest in the Southern Cape region at the tip of South Africa. This is home to the world's most southerly elephant population which have survived the onslaught of ivory hunters in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

    The Knysna elephants are the only unfenced elephant population in the country, they range on national park, provincial, commercial and privately owned land. At one point in time they were believed to be extinct but the results of the population study, undertaken by conservation geneticist Dr. Lori Eggert of the University of Missouri, shows that a few more still survive.

    In 1876, several hundred of these elephants were thought to exist, but under heavy pressure by ivory hunters were reduced to 20 to 30 individuals by 1908. In 1970 the Knysna elephant population was estimated at 11. In 1994, only one Knysna elephant was known to survive, the elderly female. Now there is fresh hope for Knysna elephant survival. Since the completion of the DNA study, there is evidence that there may be more elephants in the forest than originally believed.

    A little known fact about elephant is that like humans they bury their dead. When a death occurs in a herd, the elephant gather around smelling and prodding the corpse with their trunks. Seemingly once satisfied that the elephant is dead, they begin breaking branches off trees which they place over the body together with sand that they suck up with their trunks.

    There is a story, urban legend perhaps, of an old lady who was part of a bush cutting family, who got lost in the Knysna forest. Deciding to wait for daylight, she sat down beneath a tree. During the night one of the elephants came upon her and began sniffing at her. Probably deciding she was dead, it began breaking off branches from the trees and covering her. When the sun came up she had to call out for help as she was totally covered by branches and couldn’t move.

    The forest is also home to what the local’s call “The Big Tree” which stretches its distinctive yellowwood leaves skywards, towering over the other trees in the canopy at 36.6 meters. This tree is estimated to be between 600 and 800 years old.

    I’ve added some images.












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    Senior Member AnneBoleyn's Avatar
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    Re: The Knysna Elephants.

    Who is the man in the last pic? I have always loved elephants. I rode on a few. Against their will probably. Hate the poachers.

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    Re: The Knysna Elephants.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnneBoleyn View Post
    Who is the man in the last pic? I have always loved elephants. I rode on a few. Against their will probably. Hate the poachers.
    just a random handsome dude like me Annie!

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    Senior Member AnneBoleyn's Avatar
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    Re: The Knysna Elephants.

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    It's hard to see, but gosh, what I can------------------You are Adorable!!!

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