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Elephant Blog

Mashagadzi is named after the waterhole just south of the Shingwedzi camp (South Africa), where he was often seen by staff.

He had two relatively straight tusks, with the left one being slightly shorter then the right. There was a well worn patch on the tip of the right tusk, presumably from an old break, and a large tennis ball sized and shaped growth on his rear right leg. Mashagadzi had a square shaped notch on his left ear towards the middle of the lobe, and a R2.00 size hole below this slightly in from the edge of the lobe on the same ear. He also had a noticeable v-shaped wedge missing from the right ear lobe towards the top section of the ear.

Mashagadzi was a very docile bull and was often seen and photographed by staff and guests. He was a particularly large bull with a shoulder height in excess of 3.4m which added to the prominence of his tusks. The carcass of this bull was discovered on the 10th May 2007, a few kilometers from the Shingwedzi camp. Mashagadzi died of wounds received during a fight with another bull, a particularly large wound on his left shoulder was severely infected and would have been the direct cause of his death.

Photo copyright and text: South African National Parks