Amboseli's safe heaven for Prime Bull Elephants

Mon, 2012-04-09 16:59 by Elephant2011 · Forum/category:

As we know, the demand for ivory across different countries around the world has a devastating effect on Africa's population of wild elephants. Basically, an elephant's amazing anatomical feature, the tusks, which beautify them is also the reason for their downfall. The problem is that hunters can only acquire this type of ivory after killing an elephant, and thus taking away an innocent life for the purpose of profit.

The most targets are the bulls (adult male elephants) because of their large tusks (usually larger than that of the females). The biggest bulls stand out because of their immense size and weight, and the size and weight of their tusks is what drives the interest of the hunters. A bull's tusks reach their full size at around 28-30 years old, and by the age of 50 his tusks are as maginificent as his size. Bulls use this tusks for fighting as well. Many of the biggest bulls from 50+ years of age have succumbed to the zealous greed of human hunters wanting their tusks. These bulls are the most important in the population for breeding at and at 50 years old a bull elephant is in his prime in full size and highest rank in the population, but it is also during this time that his life is cruelly taken away. Many of the younger bulls survive, but it is these 'veteran bulls' that are wiped out.

Amboseli has become one of the very few (if not the only) wilderness where bull elephants aged over 50 years old can still roam and live. However despite the intense effort of conservation, many of the year's maginificent bulls have been killed for their tusks. Even more saddening is that hunters have also targeted younger bulls as well, those aged from 25-30 years old, with the result that many of the breeding bulls in Amboseli have been wiped out. It is very sad, to know that a bull waits for a long time to reach his 30s, 40s and 50s when he is most capable of breeding successfully and only to be killed. These magnificent bulls represent Amboseli as the place with the biggest wild elephants, but many of them have gone under the greed of man.

However there have been some bulls who have made it through their 50s and reached their 60s where they 'retire', and among these was Dionysus, who was Amboseli's maginificent bull. He lived a very long and happy life, survived the difficults of going independent from his mother and do courtships with the females that has enabled him to father many calves. Sadly not all the other bulls had been as lucky as Dionysus. A bull named Sheikh Zayad may have been the last bull in his 50s, before he, like so many others, was shot by hunters for his tusks. Other bulls are shot in their 40s, like Keyhole, a very well known and appreciated bull who lost his life at the end of a hunter's gun. Many bulls in the 1990s died, like one named Sleepy and some bulls were just coming into breeding successfully, like Winston who was 30 years old when his was killed, just entering his prime. Other bulls like Igor had long tusks which unfortunately made him obvious to hunters. A very sad fate. Whats even more tragic is that some of the hunters just target the big bulls even if their tusks are not as big as the hunters might like. An example of this was poor Magna, a very big impressive bull who lost his life to a hunter's greed for his tusks which were rather small and broad.

Thanks to the conservation work in Amboseli, there are still some bulls in their 30s and 40s safe for the moment and continue to live. Such bulls like Pizaro, Vronsky, Ezra, Gomer can still reproduce successfully and contribute to the survival of their species and hopefully some of the young bulls(like Bjorn, Fagin, Ejac and Ely) will make it to their prime years where they can safely live in the place which has given them a life, Amboseli.

I wish all the remaining elephants the very best,

china and poaching

Tue, 2012-04-17 16:01 by funkytrunk cards

The demand for ivory is ever-growing in China. Here in the Uk, the BBC made a programme about how ivory is viewed in China and the impact this demand has on African elephants - it was horrible to watch and really brought home the size of the problem, and how important Amboseli ( and others) are in reducing the impact of poaching.
Here's for a better future for all the young calves!!

Damned poaching

Sun, 2012-04-15 19:31 by echo2009

I did not know that adult and so valuable males for the survival of the species, were the principal aims of the poaching, but what always I have had clear is that they are the principal culprits of such a dramatic decrease of the population of African elephants. Damned poachers! I hope that the life returns to them the whole evil that they are doing.

Human habitation

Sun, 2012-04-15 21:24 by Hans

I am not always sure whether, in the long run, poaching poses the greatest danger for wildlife or the spreading of human habitation.

Poaching is currently a particular problem for elephants. I would like to protect wildlife from both dangers, but I fear that human land-taking may be even more difficult to stop than poaching.

You have reason, Hans

Tue, 2012-04-17 12:51 by echo2009

Probably, if the politicians were doing well his work, it might stop to a great extent the poaching, though till now I believe that they have not done anything to protect the wild life in Africa and in the whole world. Only present since you give them a hope of survival to the elephants and consequently, to other species. For it I will thank you eternally. But, how do you say to a family of human beings that nothing has to eat, that do not use the agriculture to survive? It yes that is a real problem. Because of it I would like to ask you, that you have tried to apply solutions to try to solve or to reduce this so worrying fact, if it is possible.

A greeting and thousand thanks for the work that you realize in Amboseli.

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