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Soshangane was first identified by Elephants Alive in 2005, when he was collared first time (then in July of 2009 and in October of 2014). Soshangane gets his name from a powerful Shangaan chief who used to rule over a splinter group of the mighty Zulu chief, Chaka. Like his name sake, Soshangane commanded the respect of many younger bulls. When not in musth (a periodic condition in bull elephants, characterised by highly aggressive behaviour) he formed a close association with the majestic Ezulwini.
Soshangane had just started coming out of his musth cycle and was involved in a fight with another bull on the evening of the 10th of February 2016. What it seem to be superficial damages and breaking of right tusk, a few days later turned into a heart attack as a secondary consequence to a bacterial infection thought to be Clostridial Myositis.
The only way this could possibly have been prevented would have been the hosing of the wound immediately after it happened with hydrogen peroxide. Large scale antibiotics would not have cleared the spreading of the aggressive bacterial infection thought to be transmitted by his opponents tusks.
It was a huge loss, he had a wonderful nature and was so well loved by all from Balule Private Nature Reserve.
Photo copyright and text: Elephants Alive