VERY few tourists will experience the privilege of seeing a real “tusker” in Africa’s game reserves today.
Historically, a “tusker” was defined as an elephant with tusks each weighing at least 100 pounds (45kg), but those days are long gone. The largest tuskers have been all but wiped out, with possibly 40 or fewer hundred-pounders left in Africa.
The US-based Safari Club International (SCI) now requires a minimum tusk weight of 90 pounds for trophy status, but says tusks above 70lbs are still considered “ very good”.
It is against this background that Timbavati private game reserve in Mpumalanga has come under fire after seeking permission to hunt 11 elephant bulls, including one “trophy bull” with unlimited tusk weight. Privately-owned, Timbavati shares an unfenced border with the Kruger National Park – where hunting is prohibited.
Read the full story in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.
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