Who Have You Seen?

For more than twenty years, Elephants Alive (originally Save the Elephants SA) has been studying the elephants of the Greater Kruger Area, more recently known as the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park.

Our study area spans three countries and includes the Kruger National Park and reserves bordering the Park: the Association or Private Nature Reserves (Timbavati, Klaserie, Umbabat, Balule and Thornybush) in South Africa, Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe and Parque Nacional de Limpopo in Mozambique.

IDENTIFYING INDIVIDUAL ELEPHANTS

Elephants Alive has developed an Elephant ID Guide featuring some of the iconic elephants found in the Greater Kruger. The guide has an identification database with photographs and drawings of unique features of over 2000 elephants.

We identify individual elephants by their sex, ear patterns (tears, notches, holes) and the shape of their tusks. Monitoring individual elephants for nearly 25 years has given us insight into their social bonds, breeding behaviour and movements over time. Our research highlights the importance of older bulls in elephant society. Elephants revere their elders, relying on them as mentors that discipline younger bulls.

Elephants Alive has the longest and most consistent elephant tracking data in southern Africa having collared our first elephant in 1998, providing fundamental information for reserve managers in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park.

WHAT IS AN ICONIC ELEPHANT?

Iconic elephants are mature and majestic bulls whose distinctive tusks have merited naming them.Elephants Alive monitors a number of large-tusked bulls, which are representative of a bygone era, before the upsurge in ivory poaching.

ABOUT THIS GUIDE

This guide features 30 of the known elephants we have been monitoring since 1996 when Dr Michelle Henley and her mother began the ID study. Over time, Michelle has come to know a great number of individual elephants and she has highlighted their distinguishing characteristics in this guide. We hope that this guide will help you identify some of the elephants you have encountered.

If you would like to report any sightings, please send images, date and location to iconicelephants@elephantsalive.org

If you would like to purchase our Guide to view more identified elephants please contact us at info2u@elephantsalive.org