andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve Welcomes Tuskers From Tembe Elephant Park

Two adult elephant bulls were recently translocated from Tembe Elephant Park to andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa to better balance the elephant population at Phinda. 

As the elephant population at Phinda is made up largely of orphaned calves and cows translocated in the early 1990s and the few older males nearing the end of their life expectancy, the reserve management team at Phinda made the decision to bring in two additional mature bulls of 30 or older in order to preserve the age structure of the population.

With the reserve having once formed part of the natural range for the herds at Tembe Elephant Park, the decision was made to source two bulls from the nearby elephant reserve. Tembe is home to one of only three indigenous elephant populations in South Africa and the only indigenous elephant population in KwaZulu-Natal.  

Tembe is well known for its big tuskers, or male elephants with tusks that weigh over 45.5 kg (100 lbs). With such tuskers now rarely found in Africa, the possibility that the two males from Tembe would pass on their genetic predisposition to large tusks to future generations at Phinda was an additional bonus.  Two elephant bulls approximately 30 years of age were identified for the translocation and were collared in July 2020 in anticipation of the move.

The animals were transported from Tembe to Phinda in mid-September and have settled well in their new home. Both will continue to wear their tracking collars to facilitate daily monitoring and tracking while they become accustomed to their new home.