About the Author

Pete Thorpe

Alumni Ranger

Pete was a Field Guide for Londolozi for 4 years, contributing to the blog as a fantastic writer as well as photographer. Right from his very first bush trip at the age of four, Pete was always enthralled by this environment. Having grown ...

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on The Mystery of The Moving Elephant Skull: Part 1

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W have seen many skulls lying around in the bush, and sometimes getting to the same spot we can see that it has moved. Maybe from one side of a road to the other side, or deaper into the veld. We always thought it was hyena that moved it. Definetely not jackal as it will be too heavy.

I would have guessed hyena as the suspect.
Given the down time, Peter, how about a short story!

Master Tracker

These skulls are pretty heavy so the suspect must be other elephants , I can’t see lions moving it.

As you say the smell of a naturally deceased elephant is pretty ghastly

I love a good mystery. My Rational, logical, human self wants to know the animal(s?) responsible, but the mystic in me wants to believe the Spirit of the elephant cow herself is moving it. ✨🐘✨

How mysterious! It really gets the imagination working. Yes, put out the camera again to answer the question!

Sometimes nature’s mysteries are best left, just that….. oftentimes, the mysteries will reveal their secrets when the time is right. Until then, we can all fathom a guess as to why the skull moves.

Pete, wonderful blog today – skulls lying around in the bush – who is moving them?

Senior Digital Ranger

We wait in anticipation for the next exciting episode of the mystery moving skull! Nice hidden camera pics. Thank you

Pete, that is so strange, but I like that it makes our minds work hard to figure it out! I also really believe that Elephants are so intelligent that I have no doubt they mourn their dead. Animals have so much more depth and intelligence than we give them credit for.

This is all very interesting and mysterious indeed. Please keep us posted on your findings!

What a mystery. Who will solve it first?

Can you set that camera model to take a video when it detects movement instead of stills? Probably wouldn’t helped in this case though if it was false negative…most trail cameras have a surprisingly high rate of failure to detect movement. Not sure about those cameras but some I was using recently had about 30% rate of misses.

Hi Lachlan,

We subsequently set up a different model that takes video both during the day and at night. The results so far have been fantastic. Yes I have noticed in the past how cameras have failed to trigger when an animal is directly in front of the sensor. However, I have been incredibly impressed with the clarity of images when capturing a fast moving subject. Trail cameras have definitely revolutionised our ability to investigate the natural world.

How stranger. “Curiouser and curiouser” as Alice in Wonderland said. Look forward to seeing the answer! IS there an answer? Wendy M

I would probably say it was a young bull elephant?

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