The Pilanesberg National Park is home to a wide variety of rare and common species of fauna and flora; including healthy populations of lion, leopard, black and white rhino, elephant and buffalo -- Africa's "Big Five".
Pilanesberg National Park Wildlife includes:
About 40 white rhino have been killed by elephants at Pilanesberg National Park. The actual events are seldom witnessed, but the tusk marks are strong evidence. Rangers also check for spoor (tracks) around the carcasses. A few incidents of elephants chasing rhino have been witnessed. White Rhino injured by Elephants have typical tusk injury around the shoulders.
In February and March 1998 six elephant bulls were introduced from Kruger National Park to Pilanesberg National Park. The aim was for these bulls to control the "rambunctious" behaviour of the orphan males in Pilanesberg. These males had been entering Musth (state of heightened hormonal condition with associated high levels of aggress) and had killed almost 40 white rhino! (photo of dead rhino)
The plan was for the six older bulls to suppress the Musth condition of the orphans, and we wanted to verify that this happened. A research project was initiated at the University of Natal to quantify the behaviour of the young orphans in response to the older bulls. This was an expensive prospect, and Amarula (Distiller's Corporation) were the first to come forward with an offer of financial assistance. Pretoria Portland Cement, Total, and the South African Broadcasting Corporation also supported the project.
Andre Klocke was employed as a full-time research assistant, his job being to find the elephants as often as possible, and when he found them, to note their behaviour. Andre did this until the end of May 1999, and we now have some preliminary results from the study.
To understand what the longer-term results are, and to allow us to make recommendations to other owners of elephants, we are continuing the project at a much lower intensity. Amarula is continuing with support for this research, as well as for other projects on elephant conservation.
North West Province Travel Guide
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