About the Author

Werner Breedt

Field Guide

Werner guided at Londolozi from 2014-2016, but misses it so much now that he is based down in the Western Cape, that he begged to be able to continue contributing to the blog. Look out for his posts on a wide range of ...

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18 Comments

on An Encounter With a Big Tusker

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Beautiful blog Werner. Lovely video. It is always a humbling and inspiring experience to visit the elephant hall at Letaba in Kruger to see the magnificant 7 tuskers display.

Werner Breedt
Field Guide

Thank you, Marinda! The elephant hall is absolutely amazing, one of a kind

What a wonderful post and great video. I love elephants and try to help in conservation by writing articles for Friends of the Elephant in The Netherlands and let them use my images. Elepants are such gentle giants if you respect them and treat them well. I have fostered many orphaned elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and have visited them quite often. My first orphan that I fostered was an elephant called Nyiro. I saw him when he was 4 years old and he and I really got along. After the visit I was completely red from the red dirt in Tsavo East NP. Four years later I came back and Nyiro had returned to the wild but was visiting the shelter with his wild friends. The keepers told me that Nyiro still liked to suckle fingers, so I went to him and let him suckle my fingers. He actually took my arm en led my hand to his mouth. While he was suckling my fingers he put his trunk on my head and started to blow warm air on my head. The keepers told me that this behaviour showed that he recognised me. Although this happened a long time ago I still get emotional thinking about it. It was so beautiful.

Werner Breedt
Field Guide

This just proves the innate ability these animals possess. The elephant was still able to recognise after four years. Thank you for doing your part in conservation Betty-Lou, these are the stories everyone should aspire to be a part of.

Thank you for your kind words Werner and yes, elephants have so many abilities we can only dream of. Try visiting a 4 year old child and then come back 4 years later. I don’t think the child will be able to reconise. As a matter of fact I think us humans constantly underestimate the abilities of animals, because we always perceive them from a human angle. Most of us are not capable of seeing things from another angle.

Denise Vouri
Digital Tracker

Beautiful and inspiring Werner. It is apparent that you have an passion for elephants and my hope is that more people will recognize the threat to them and join the causes to protect these gentle giants.

Werner Breedt
Field Guide

Thank you Denise,

Elephants are one of my favourite animals along with the elusive caracal.

Gillian Lacey
Explorer

Utterly magnificent

Werner Breedt
Field Guide

Thank you Gillian!

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

Such an incredible encounter, loved the way that you described it! I’ve encountered some impressive elephant bulls before, but never ones with tusks like that!

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

When did that encounter take place?

Werner Breedt
Field Guide

Hi Callum, it happened in September 2014

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

Thanks! I wonder if he’s still around?

Werner Breedt
Field Guide

Hi Callum, possibly. The elephant was around 40 -45 years of age if I had to guess.

Wendy Hawkins
Senior Digital Ranger

Just so beautiful Werner thank you! I was terrified of elephants but I am able now to happily sit & watch them for hours, but not in KNP just the Addo NP where they are just so different! 🙂

Werner Breedt
Field Guide

Hi Wendy , these animals are indeed gentle giants.
When approached carefully there is no need to be concerned. Just enjoy the sighting

Joanne Wadsworth Kelley
Digital Tracker

I’m so glad that you are able to continue to blog for Londolozi. This piece was exceptional as was the video. I’ve never stood before a tusker as you have….I can only begin to imagine the magnificence. Unforgettable.

Werner Breedt
Field Guide

Thank you Joanne!
It is a once in a lifetime experience

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