Possibly the most mysterious aspect of the small town of Knysna is the elusive elephant population. Surrounded by hundreds of kilometres of forest, these majestic creatures once roamed like kings and queens they were… until kings and queens, the human sort, hunted them for sport.
At one stage, tragically, it was believed that there was only one elephant left but science has given animal lovers hope – DNA research into dung has made the realisation that there are more, both bulls and cows.
This week, a trap camera placed by the Landmark Foundation, an organisation dedicated to leopard research, captured a photo of a Knysna elephant.
As the date stamp on the camera showed an older date, i contacted Jeannine McManus, a researcher and field manager for the Landmark Foundation, for verification. Not only is it true but, wonderfully, Jeannine added that they’d “obtained four images of the same elephant at three different occasions at the same site.”
The Landmark Foundation strives to build the conservation economy so that Southern Africa’s natural landscapes can effectively be conserved. Locally, they have collared and tracked a male leopard in Rheenedal, a rural area within the Knysna municipality.