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Dzombo was one of Kruger National Park’s so-called “Magnificent Seven;” a group of big elephant bulls with tusks weighing more than 50kg each.
His name derived form the Tsonga word Dzombolo which means “to wait for something that is slow in coming”.
Dzombo was the only one of the Magnificant Seven to be killed by poachers; hunted for his classic Kruger-shape tusks that were bowed, curved and pointing forward and slightly upwards.
He tragically died in a hail of bullets from an AK 47 fired by a poacher from Mozambique in 1985. The poachers were in the act of chopping Dzombo’s tusks out of his skull, when they were disturbed by rangers and fled, leaving their trophies behind. Dzombo’s matchless tusks were recovered and are now located in the Elephant Hall Museum at Letaba Restcamp in Kruger Park.
Photo copyright: Dr Anthony Hall-Martin