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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Elephant kills South African man in Zimbabwe's Mana Pools

    Yep, what Ted says is very true in Mana.

    We were camping with 2 vehicles and a trailer at a place they call BBC camp site in Mana (I guess where the film crew was stationed when they did a documentary).

    The amenities are very basic, virtually nothing but a dilapidated long drop in close proximity of some shade trees.

    Sitting close to the kitchen trailer after a sun downer, everything open, car windows, trailer etc, a bull elephant wandered into the camp and started accelerating as soon as he left the scrubs about 150 meters away. He came straight towards our little set-up even though he had to change his initial bearings.

    In seeing this I ran and closed all the car windows and the back door, but was to late to do the same on the trailer so he rounded us up and started probing inside the open trailer and around the kitchen unit and found the rubbish bag hanging from the water tap.
    I need to say that those plastics were same kind of flavored smelling lightly of citrus, so he took a sniff and trashed the contents eating the plastic bag and some potato peels etc.

    We were just standing by and hoping that he did not need any further snacks and luckily after about ten tense minutes he turned away and disappeared towards the main camp.

    About an hour later we saw some game wardens speeding across the plains in the direction the bull had walked and heard 3 gun shots about 300 meters from our location.

    We later learned that the same bull elephant has been put down as he had ransacked a venter trailer parked in front of one of the park chalets.
    According to the rangers, this was not an isolated incident and the same bull had specialised in overturning the trailers as he had found food and stuff to his liking more often than not.

    So maybe we were just lucky the trailer was open and accessible, or that he was distracted by the flavored rubbish bag.
    We will never know.

    Habituation of wild animals often leads to a change of behaviour, this was not due to hunting or culling or lack of food albeit it was end of the dry season. So never let you guards down and be aware of what is happening around your camp.
    Walter Rene Gygax
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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Elephant kills South African man in Zimbabwe's Mana Pools

    Must say this story leaves me a little unnerved. Have been to Mana before, and walked quite a bit with a ranger for photography opportunities - which are amazing by the way.
    At one stage we were mock charged by a young elephant. We stood our ground in a group of around 5 people, and ranger had his rifle cocked standing right next to me. Ele veered off about thirty metres away.
    No harm done to us or the ele, thankfully.

    Closer than I would like. May need to rethink my fondness for walking in the bush in areas such as this.

    D

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  5. #23
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    Default Re: Elephant kills South African man in Zimbabwe's Mana Pools

    Quote Originally Posted by Free2 View Post
    That could be, but it could also be nothing like that. Wild animals will always behave unexpectedly at times, which is a risk, especially when on foot. I wonder if these incidents will make them rethink allowing walking in the park.
    Doubt it Mana Pools walking has been there forever and is safe if you know what you are doing on foot >> Great visibility

  6. #24
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    Default Re: Elephant kills South African man in Zimbabwe's Mana Pools

    Walked the safari area between Mana and Chirundu extensively over two 2 week periods and were only mock charged by some 100 buffalo, but they retreated after standing our ground.

    Never take a chance with wild animals, all you need is one with an abscess or other ailment that makes them grumpy.

    We stalked elephant right up to 30m, and once they noticed us they just disappear in the river brush, so quick and silent it's amazing.

    The parks board guides also had a theory that tusk less Ellies are more aggressive due to a lack of nutrients because they cannot use their tusks to debark etc.
    Last edited by faniedup; 2021/10/21 at 03:57 PM. Reason: Sp

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  8. #25
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    Default Re: Elephant kills South African man in Zimbabwe's Mana Pools

    [QUOTE=Kalahari Safari;4757126]Yep, what Ted says is very true in Mana.

    We were camping with 2 vehicles and a trailer at a place they call BBC camp site in Mana (I guess where the film crew was stationed when they did a documentary).

    I think it is very likely that this was the elephant, that Walter is referring to.
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    Malcolm
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  10. #26
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    Default Re: Elephant kills South African man in Zimbabwe's Mana Pools

    [QUOTE=mcowell;4757317]
    Quote Originally Posted by Kalahari Safari View Post
    Yep, what Ted says is very true in Mana.<br>
    <br>
    We were camping with 2 vehicles and a trailer at a place they call BBC camp site in Mana (I guess where the film crew was stationed when they did a documentary).<br>
    <br>
    I think it is very likely that this was the elephant, that Walter is referring to.

    Could very well be, the expert on trailers.
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    Last edited by Kalahari Safari; 2021/10/22 at 05:08 PM.
    Walter Rene Gygax
    Kalahari Safari
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  11. #27
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    Default Re: Elephant kills South African man in Zimbabwe's Mana Pools

    Quote Originally Posted by k-dog View Post
    Yip... and the hunting concessions bordering the parks..?!!
    Expect the same possible behavior in the Caprivi regions..or anywhere else that Elephants migrate or across borders, they get heavily persecuted by poachers / hunters.. possibly even driving white Hilux's or Landcrusers like yours? The surviving Ellies never forget..

    Now you come along and expect them to react like protected Chobe elephants be careful guys!
    We experience that agressive behaviour of the elephants in the Babwata Conservancy in the Zambezi region (previously Caprivi) in 2018. They still have hunting concessions in that concervancy and that might be the driving force behind the ellies behaviour. So tread lighty and keep your distance if you can.
    Jannie Engelbrecht

  12. #28
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    Default Re: Elephant kills South African man in Zimbabwe's Mana Pools

    I just got back from mana pools know Saturday. I did not experience any aggression at all. However we saw 2 elephant calves with injured legs- one front and one back leg. Both mothers were tuskless. If they walked up to those elephants then they put themselves in a very dangerous situation. We watched hyena harassing the on baby and the mother defending it.

    Poaching and hunting are very unlikely to have any effect on mana elephants- they are intelligent and know they are safe. Generally hunted animals run and only become aggressive if wounded or approached to closely.This was an unfortunate incident that will happen occasionally in mana because you are allowed to walk as an inexperienced person. And I would be wary of hiring a ranger for protection. The law of zimbabwe requires a professional hunter or guides licence. A ranger will not have that license and I have seen those rangers at the shooting exams to get that license- at your own risk !!

    Lastly, if you walk up to a tuskless cow, you are simply being stupid. Sorry if that offends people but that is just crazy. Cows are unpredictable- all guides will be wary of cows and cow herds even in a vehicle. Bulls are usually more relaxed. Mana pools is a wonderful place where people are allowed to make their own decisions around wildlife- accidents are bound to happen. I just hope that public sentiment does not close down walking in mana as it did a few years back.

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  14. #29
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    Default Re: Elephant kills South African man in Zimbabwe's Mana Pools

    Quote Originally Posted by nhoro View Post
    I just got back from mana pools know Saturday. I did not experience any aggression at all. However we saw 2 elephant calves with injured legs- one front and one back leg. Both mothers were tuskless.

    Poaching and hunting are very unlikely to have any effect on mana elephants- they are intelligent and know they are safe. Generally hunted animals run and only become aggressive if wounded or approached to closely.

    Lastly, if you walk up to a tuskless cow, you are simply being stupid. Sorry if that offends people but that is just crazy. Cows are unpredictable- all guides will be wary of cows and cow herds even in a vehicle.

    2 keywords I try to understand from your post:

    "tuskless" - why would there be a difference i behaviour between a tuskless cow and a cow with tusks?

    "very unlikely" with respect to poaching probability - why?

    There is ample evidence that poaching is happening around the park (in and out) and so is culling or hunting. In the days past, Zim adopted a "selective culling" philosophy which contrary to eradicating a herd as a whole, only targeted the older, lead animals (cows). The memory of the survivors will still be present in today's herds so they act the part and remain aggressive against humans.

    Lastly, all mother animals are defending their young ones against perceived threats, not only elephants, it even happens with mother cows (the domestic ones) when they have offspring.
    Walter Rene Gygax
    Kalahari Safari
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    | Nissan Safari GU TD42 | B'rakah 4x4 Trailer
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  15. #30
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    Default Re: Elephant kills South African man in Zimbabwe's Mana Pools

    This might answer to a few questions : https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abe7389;

    A good summary of the above paper has been published on BBC : https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-59008037

    AP

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