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“Isilo” is the Zulu word for king. Isilo was the king of the elephants and wildlife in the Tembe Transfrontier Park on the South Africa/Mozambique Border and was known as the biggest “tusker” in Southern Africa.

While he is thought to have died in January 2014 of natural causes, the dense foliage and lesser-known game reserve resulted in his carcass only being discovered in April – and poachers had already cut off and stolen Isilo’s magnificent tusk. 

The Tembe Chief offered a reward of R100 000 for the return to the stolen of the ivory/tusks to the authorities at Tembe Elephant Park – but unfortunately they were never seen again. 

Photo copyright and text: Africa Geographic

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