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Meet the desert elephants

EHRA's area of operation has expanded since we first established the elephant patrols 10 years ago, when we primarily worked in the Ugab River basin.  Today the patrols extend north to the next river systems: the Huab and the Goantagab, as far north as the town of Khorixas and as far east as the town of Omajette.  In this area there are 3 distinct family groups of elephants, plus individual bulls.

Map of Damaraland Namibia

The Ugab River elephants are very well known to EHRA, and below you will find photos of every elephant in this area.  They form 3 herds in total and together with the bulls, they currently number 32 resident elephants, this includes the younger elephants and calfs.  Each year between September and December, three other bulls move into the area from the east. 

EHRA's patrols concentrate on these herds, as conflict incidents can be high, and for 2014 we are collecting dung from each elephant for a genetics project.  The aim of the project is to test the hypothesis that Voortrekker is the only bull breeding in the area.  Any volunteers joining EHRA will assist with this task!

The Huab River elephants live in larger herds, possibly because of less stress with more available food and water.  They also are much more habituated to humans, due to the daily game drives in the river from 5 local lodges.  These elephants also live in three herds: two herds that are very calm and relaxed and a third group that is rarely seen but is very distinctive with its lack of tusks.  With the few bulls in the area, they total 36 resident elephants (again including young elephants).

The Khorixas elephants moved into the area in 2010, we believe from the northern Kamanjab area.  These herds have chosen an area with a high human population density, resulting in many conflict incidents and even loss of human lives.  As a result the MET has declared several bull elephants as 'problem elephants', so they can be shot by a hunter, which provides some monetary compensation to the people adversely affected by the elephants' presence.  EHRA has been concentrating our water point protection programme in this area to help decrease conflicts, and in 2014 we are conducting PEACE Project education seminars on a regular basis in communities to help people live with the elephants.  These elephants are very difficult to observe and identify, as the terrain is often impenetrable, plus the elephants are very scared of vehicles.  During full-moon night watches, we have been able to count three to four larger herds with ten or more elephants in each.

 

The Ugab River elephants

The bulls

Voortrekker desert elephant bull Bennie bull desert elephant

Voortrekker: The eldest and only breeding bull                Bennie: Adult Bull

 

Cheeky elephant bull namibia Tsaurab young bull namibia

Cheeky: Adult Bull                                                              Tsaurab: Adult Bull

 

Mama Afrika's Herd

mama afrika female elephant namibia  Mathilda desert elephant namibia

Mama Afrika: Matriarch                                                       Mathilda: Adult Female

Roo female elephant namibia  Deliwe adult female

 Roo: Adult Female                                                              Deliwa: Adult Female (Mama Afrika's daughter)

Duchess adult female elephant namibia  Medusa female elephant image

 The Duchess: Adult Female                                                 Medusa: Adult Female

 

Kambonde subadult elephant namibia  Santosha bull elephant image

Kambonde: Male Sub-Adult                                                 Santosha: Male Sub-Adult

 

Ulysseb juvenile male elephant  Ulyssess elephant namibia

Ulysseb: Juvenile Male                                                        Ulysses: Juvenile Male

 

Carissa juvenile elephant namibia  Madiba calf elephant namibia

Carissa: Juvenile                                                                Madiba: Mama Afrika's Calf

Deliwes baby elephant namibia  baby elephant otumwe namibia

Deliwa's Female Calf                                                            Otumwe Male Calf (The Duchess' calf)

 

 

The Ugab Small Herd

Betty Matriarch elephant namibia  Doris female elephant namibia

 Betty: Matriarch                                                                  Doris: Adult Female

Tamla female elephant namibia  Cynthia juvenile elephant image

 Tamla: Sub-Adult Female                                                    Cynthia: Juvenile Female

baby elephant in namibia  damaraland baby elephant namibia

 Betty's Female Calf                                                            Doris' Female Calf

 

G6 Herd

female elephant damaraland  ehra elephant photo namibia

 Bellatrix: Matriarch                                                             Claudia: Adult Female

EHRA Female elephant namibia  EHRA female elephant image of Juno

 Daphne: Adult Female                                                        Juno: Adult Female

Young bull elephant EHRA Namibia  Tremor young elephant Namibia

 Stellar: Sub-Adult Male                                                       Tremor: Juvenile Male

Tatiana baby elephant image   Baby elephant EHRA Namibia

Tatiana: Juvenile Female                                                     Claudia's Female Calf

 

To read more about how EHRA identifies each elephant have a look at the 'Identification of Elephants' page.