This bull was named after Ranger Harry Kirkman, who served as a ranger in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, between 1933 and 1958 (‘Muliluane’ means ‘small fire’). Muliluane was known to move between the Sabie-Sands Private Nature Reserve and the Skukuza section of the Kruger National Park.
He had very widely spaced straight ivory with the left tusk being notably longer then the right. He had a prominent square notch/tear in his left ear towards the top of the ear lobe, with a loose piece of skin just below that. On the same ear, there was a notable hole towards the outer edge of the earlobe towards the bottom of the lobe. Last official sightings of this bull were on the 10th and 11th October 2007 in the Sabie Park picnic area, the photos having been submitted for the emerging tusker’s competition.
Recent investigations on other tuskers that have been collared revealed that sadly Muliliuane died in late 2007 (the exact date is unknown) from complications during a collaring effort in the Sabie Sands adjacent to the Kruger National Park. Elephants are collared for by scientists for tracking purposes – this initiative allows us to learn more and more everyday about these magnificent creatures and their habits. Given the bull died on private land, the ivory is in the possession of the landowner on whose property the bull died. Unfortunately this means that the tusk data is unavailable for the data records.
Photo copyright and text: South African National Parks