Without a doubt, an African elephant bull is the mightiest game animal on earth. Amidst the vastness of an unspoiled landscape, he is incomparably impressive.
By PH Kai-Uwe Denker
To face, from a few paces, a threatening bull standing tall with widespread ears; the momentary glimpse of the gleaming ivory of a big tusker turning away, who moments later is shrouded by rising dust; the thirst of a long march through a lonely wilderness: These are impressions that obliterate everything else. In my opinion, no hunter who has not enjoyed these experiences to the fullest has ever really understood Africa.
When I started organising elephant hunts in Namibia as an outfitter with my own big-game concession in the early 1990s, the general belief was that truly big elephants, tuskers carrying more than 100 lb of ivory per side, were a thing of the past. Until the mid 1980s, Ethiopia was considered the last stronghold of the 100-pounder. Outstanding tuskers, probably pushed out of the southern Sudan by the lawlessness of the political turmoil in that country, had taken refuge in the montane forests of south-western Ethiopia, leading to what was perhaps the last ivory rush on the continent.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Africa, elephant populations – and especially big tuskers – had been eradicated by massive poaching and human expansion. The 100-pounder had vanished.
Although reported dead, when my tender for the ‘West of Khaudum’ concession in north-eastern Namibia was accepted at the end of 1992, the 100-pounder still existed in my dreams, hopes and expectations. But when, after seven great years of elephant hunting, with my clients taking quite a few big elephant trophies without us, however, ever seeing, let alone bagging a 100-pounder, I was also prepared to accept that, apart from those in Kruger National Park, they were no longer around.
Read the whole article published in African Hunting Gazette (.pdf-document).