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Elephant Blog

This bull was named after the Shipandani Hills, in the Mooiplaas area of northern Kruger National Park, South Africa. The name is derived from the Tsonga word ‘Panda’ which means ‘that which divides or splits’. Despite quite recognisable only one long left tusk, but no apparent right tusk, very little is known about this elephant. He was photographed by Keith Begg at Grysbok windmill 14km north of Mopani Restcamp in Oct 1993.

From 12-15 years of age up to 20, young bulls will spend over 50% of their time away from the family unit, finally leaving entirely. Bulls wander more widely than cows and, during periods of musth (a periodic condition in bull elephants, characterised by highly aggressive behaviour), will venture away from their home range in search of mating opportunities.

Very old bulls will often be found far away from the main herds, in marshy areas. As their last tooth wear’s down, they need to be close to soft vegetation which requires minimal chewing.

Text: South African National Parks
Photo copyright: Keith Begg