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Elephant Blog

There are many stories behind the remarkable Mabarule, which has left real marks and memories in the lives of the people who were fortunate enough to have ‘met’ this special giant.

Interestingly, it wasn’t until the death of another tusker that Section Ranger Johann Oelofse realized that there had been two very similar looking elephants roaming around the Kruger National Park. In fact, within a week of the tragic loss of ‘Hatlani’ (another elephant), Johann Oelofse was flabbergasted to encounter a ‘ghost’ elephant with strikingly similar features.

After realizing that it was an unbelievable coincidence that two such magnificent tuskers roamed in the same area of the KNP, Dr. Ian Whyte made a new official entry into the large tusker register. The ‘Hatlani’-double was from then on officially known as Mabarule; named after the local’s Shangane nickname for Johann Oelofse.

Another exceptional fact about Mabarule is that he must have lived in constant pain during the last years of his life due to extreme calcifications between several of his vertebrae. He had all reasons to be the most aggressive elephant in the KNP – however, he remained a very calm, approachable elephant – and to this day is known as the ‘Gentle Giant.’

We are truly excited to see his name on our current Elephant Gin bottles!

Other information on Mabarule:
Age: 50 – 55 years
Tusks: 257cm and 49kg (left); 278cm and 54kg (right)

Photo copyright: Dr. Ian Whyte and Johann Oelofse