Elephants – A Closer Look
By Photography Robert Hoague, Article Wade Nolan
Jul 22, 2008 – 1:55:39 PM
Article by bowhunting biologist Wade
Nolan, Photos by Robert Hoague (To The Elephant Photos…)
Elephants are among the first
animals that children learn to identify because of their unusual look.
Even though we have been seeing them in pictures and movies forever
they are still one of the most striking and mesmerizing of all Africa?s
animals to observe. Like lions?, cougars and grizzlies they make poor
neighbors. As a mater of fact you will not find them outside of parks
Elephants are incredibly dangerous and no one wants to live
with free ranging elephants. Kruger Park in South Africa, Ogavango in
Botswana and Etosha Park in Namibia are where you will likely see them?surrounded
in all parks by a tall electric fence.
One fact about elephants that
is NEVER stated accurately by the Discovery Channel is that they are
not even remotely endangered. Kruger has over 12,000 elephants, Etosha
over 4000 and the Okavango Delta in Botswana over 70,000. That?s more
than 86.000 of these tuskers in just 3 parks?.and there are dozens
of parks and reserves. Here is a tidbit to use on the next tree hugger
that says they are endangered? ?There are as many elephants in Africa
as there are elk in North America.?
They eat a tremendous variety
of plants. An elephant will fond something to chew on within trunks
reach almost anywhere he?s standing. I have watched them push over
a 20 foot tall tree only to nibble on an newly exposed root and eat
as much of it as I could and move on. They eat large quantities of grass
and bark. An adult bull may eat over 600 pounds of food a day. Multiply
that by the 12,000 elephants in Kruger Park and you can see why they
need to be managed.
You seldom see one elephant.
Their herds are led by an old female. They usually travel to water each
day. They have no real problem with predators although an occasional
lion will take a calf at great risk. Many dead guys made their last
mistake when venturing too close to an elephant calf. The interesting
thing about elephants is that they usually get the last word in an argument.
Dries Visser and I were talking once about elephant hunting and he stated
that the biggest problem with elephant hunting is if the tables turn
there is little you can do. The brain shot we hear so much about is
not effective when you?re next to a tusker. They can run you down,
push almost any tree over, reach under or into almost anything and they
can smell you out of hiding. In short they are deadly if mad.
Elephant hunting is conducted
mostly in Zimbabwe. With the political situation in Zimbabwe I?d rather
take my chances with a wounded elephant than the political terrorists.
There are lots of elephants in Zimbabwe but now isn?t the best time
to hunt them. A rifle is clearly the safest way to hunt them but many
have been taken with a bow. Watch my DVD, ?Africa at full draw to
see some great bowhunting for tuskers?. Dries and his PH?s have
guided a lot of elephant hunters but expect to spend some dollars. A
bowhunter needs to be shooting around 90+# of kinetic energy to get
into the vitals.
If you?d like to learn about
big 5 hunting in Africa just send $15 to Wade Nolan and I?ll send
you the 3 hour long (100 bow hunts) DVD Africa at Full Draw with me
and Dries Visser. Send it to: 623 Strawcutter Rd, Derry Pa 15627. You
may just choose to accompany me and Robert Hoague to Africa next summer.
From Robert Hoague
So that’s some info about Elephants. While we were in Africa this June I was lucky enough to take close-up pictures of a group of them. To The Elephants…
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