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Elephant update – 24 October 2012

Elephant update – 24 October 2012
This month (and as an American, in the Thanksgiving season) I’d like to offer my thanks for our skilled rangers and the arrival of rain. Our rangers and trackers have an incredible history in the area, with many decades of experience. They have a keen sense for reading animal behavior and responding in a manner that reassures the elephants that the vehicles have a non-threatening motivation. It is because of these skills, that many have seen this population change from what were once considered among the most aggressive elephants, to now being recognised as some of the most docile and approachable in...
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Elephant update – 10 October 2012

Elephant update – 10 October 2012
New leaves are sprouting on fresh shoots. Flowers, insects and birdlife are growing more prolific. Although rainfall continues to be low, with only 5 mm falling during September, it is clear that change is underway across the landscape. And with the return of spring, elephant activity in the Mashatu Game Reserve is on the rise. Family groups are more often seen sharing space in close proximity to one another, where previously they were keeping some distance from associated members of their greater bond group. Elephant movement during the transition from winter to summer has brought increased sightings...
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Elephant update – 20 September 2012

Elephant update – 20 September 2012
This month has been a busy one, with guests visiting elephant herds during our specialised research game drive, The Ivory Drive, and with much time in the field with the research project itself. Guests have seen some lovely interactions between young elephants collecting foods dropped by their mothers, watching as they learn how to use their trunks, and generally seeing them become familiar with life as a Tuli elephant. With the bit of rain mentioned last time, and a few days with moisture in the air, elephant herds seem to be reforming into somewhat larger groups. Our last Ivory Drive participants...
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Elephant update – 7 September 2012

Elephant update – 7 September 2012
Happy Spring Day, (September 1st)! The month of September is off to beautiful start, and spring is definitely in the air. With longer days and light availability seasonal changes have begun to unfold. Even without precipitation the leaves are greening, blossoms are emerging, and the wildlife is taking notice. While on our specialised elephant research drive, The Ivory Drive, this week guests were delighted to observe many species in action. The White-fronted Bee Eaters were busy catching insects as we passed en route to an elephant family group. The group found during the Ivory Drive was observed...
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Elephant update – 20 August 2012

Elephant update – 20 August 2012
As we move towards the end of August, days are getting warmer and the landscape form has altered to a new level. Forage is increasingly limited for the browser community. The “browse line” can easily be identified in certain communities of Mopane, Umbrella thorn and more often Mustard, where stems and trunks of shrubs appear as skeleton forms in the under-story, opening a distant line of sight from the first meter above ground. These seasonal changes, marked by drought conditions, have already brought about a shift observed in herbivore behavior. In recent months, family groups were observed...
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