Animals Stories and Facts
Elephant's Sad Farewell To Friend
Tourists watched in tears as an elephant bull bade farewell to is "friend", the deceased bull Alexander.
The bull tried to chase vultures and hyenas away from Alexander's carcass and even tried to pick Alexander up. After dying, presumably of a hear attack.
Tourists parked near the carcass watched as an elephant bull arrived there and tried to lift up its friend. The carcass was about 20 metres away from the road.
I don't know whether he was saying goodbye or whether he was trying to wake him," san a game ranger.
The bull first chased the hyenas and the vultures away. He then tried to manoeuvre his big tusks under Alexander's head. During one of the attempts, one of Alexander's tusks nearly pierced one
of the bull's eyes.
By then game reserve personnel had already removed Alexander's heart and lungs for examination, and the scavengers had also got stuck into the approximately six tons of meat.
The bull sniffed and touched Alexander all over with its trunk. When it could not lift Alexander, it went and sat down on top of him. It even urinated on him.
After trying for about half an hour to get him up, the elephant bull suddenly left. It later appeared that he had just gone to have a drink of water, as he was back again a little while later. Another fifteen minutes later, he seemed to realise that his old pal would not be able to get up again. He then placed his trunk over the spine of the carcass and stood dead still for about a minute before disappearing into the trees.
The evening in the camp some of the women said they had not seen such passionate love for a friend in a long time, They said that everyone, men, women and children - cried.
Zambezi Seaway Project
Recently worrying reports have popped up in the press that the Zambezi Seaway Scheme, first mooted in the 1950’s by the Portuguese to reduce freight costs for landlocked countries in Southern Africa, is back on the cards.
The proposed Seaway would be 1500kms long stretching from Victoria Falls in western Zimbabwe to the Indian ocean in the eastern Mozambique. Promoters of this gigantic scheme - The Zambezi Seaway Corporation, say it will offer a cheaper, faster and more efficient route to the ocean, thus boosting local economies.
The current cost of transporting the vast quantities of goods and minerals to the coast is prohibitive. Therefore by floating these goods transportation cost would be dramatically reduced thereby bringing them onto the world market at greatly reduced prices leading to an industrial boom......
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* The Victoria Falls have lured many to their deaths- either accidentally or suicidal.
* An eight four-year old many from America, unable to bear the loss of his wife, made the long journey by sea, road and rail to leap to his death from the bridge.
* Another unhappy bride ran from her honeymoon suite in the hotel after a
tiff with her husband and jumped over the edge.
* In 1932 another young woman, fleeing from a rapist in the rainforest, ran over the edge in her panic and the assailant attempting to escape arrest, fell off the bridge.
Since the turn of the century the falls have claimed at least fifty lives. Others have only been save by the daring and ingenuity of the rescue teams.
But my favourite story is of a man named Ted Spencer, who often performed breathtaking aerobatics over the falls in a light aircraft – which he one flew under the bridge. He always denied this for fear of losing his licence.
His charter flights gave tourist a unique view of Victoria Falls and the Zambezi River, but on occasions the plane ran out of fuel and had to make a
forced landing. Spencer’s night landings were a notable event. Flying low over the town he would cut his engines, lean his head out of the cockpit and shout “Cars”. When his friends heard this, they drove quickly to the airstrip and lined their cars up on either side of the runway with their headlights on. After his death in an air crash at Croydon, London, just after the second world war, his ashes were scattered over the Victoria Falls. Read More strange Facts...
Update on Damiano
Now that our radio collared elephant bull, Damiano and his 6 wild compatriots have completed their tour of destruction at the old elephant camp, they have decided to move off and look for new pastures to thrash!
Transformer and Damiano were seen, to our horror, only 5 kms away from our new Wallow and we all waited with bated breath for the electric fence to be knocked down and the bulls happily
united with their old friends.
Luckily they moved off back in the direction of old Old Elephant Camp where they have not been seen for at least 3 nights. This is a great sign as perhaps now that they have demolished all in sight at the camp they will venture further afield to find new delights to conquer.
We are waiting for the satellite downloads to be sent to us to find out their whereabouts. Damiano does definitely not want to be with us, but he sure is making a big scene of having been sent out to fend for himself in the big world. He is always with the other 6 bulls so has not had to make it on his own.
The lovely "kirkii" tress have all burst out in new leaf and many bushes have buds appearing with the heat of summer and the scent of the rains in the air.
Plenty of scrumptious greenery out there and with the rains coming up in a month or so there
with be fresh water available in the Pans and what more could a "wild" elephant or "domesticated and gone wild" elephant ask for ?
Will keep you all updated. Damiano, by the way, looks good - he is big and healthy and not looking like he is under any duress at all.
Happy travelling, our old elephant friend.
Wild Horizons Wild Life Trust
Read About Damiano release....
Victoria Falls Anti Poaching Unit (VFAPU) Update
Early in a morning late in May, the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit (VFAPU) was patrolling around Victoria Falls town, near the boundary of Zambezi National Park. The game scouts came across a horrendous snare line that told a story of terror and pain. Entangled in one snare were the remains of a buffalo carcass. The snare line was a few days old, and a young buffalo had gotten caught early on and was strangled to death. Shortly thereafter, two male lions came to feed on the buffalo carcass as it was an easy meal. While feeding, one of these young male lions also then got caught with a wire snare around his neck. Over the next day or so he struggled to free himself, only to force the snare tighter and tighter
around his neck, eventually causing his strangulation.
Due to the claw marks around and up the tree that the snare was tethered to, and the digging around the lion carcass, you can see how hard this lion tried to get out of the snare. Meanwhile the other male lion was nearby (given his tracks), and helpless to assist his mate. Charles Brightman (director of VFAPU) kindly contacted the Wild Horizons Wildlife Trust to assist with the investigation, and DNA samples, whisker photos, and the skull of the lion have been taken. The Wild Horizons Wildlife Trust works together with the Oxford Carnivore Research Project in Hwange, and all samples, etc have been passed on for identification of the deceased cat, and evaluation of how his death will affect the overall population dynamics.
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