Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ellies in Musth

Meeting an elephant in musth......

I am back from holiday so now my real holiday can start again. It is always good to get back to the bush. Driving one afternoon to Tloudam we met with an elephant bull in full musth. Normaly they are quite aggresive.

We do see it quite a lot, but does everybody knows what it means ?

I t is also mispronounced as "musk" Musth is when males have a high testosterone level, normaly makes them aggresive.

Musth is a Hindi word meaning" mischievous" describing the condition in indian elephants. It only starts when the males are in their early twenties.

Musth can last up to 4 months a time. They are normaly searching for mates during that time. The back legs are stained at the inside and a fluid is running from the temporal gland on the face. When they are in musth they loose foraging time because they are tracking down females the whole time. When they meet up with the females the female may take up to 2 weeks before excepting the suitor...................poor guy !!

Just a bit of background on musth.. Luckily the male we saw was chillled. He walked right up to the vehicle and made us all realise how big they realy are and that they deserve more respect than we think they deserve.

Not far from there we got a big group of females. We spend some time with them and our friend rocked up. He immidiately chased the other males of, but the females were very stuborn............................

Thats all for now, hope you enjoyed that!
Grant Marcus