A Big Tusker Forest Elephant from C.A.R.

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What an amazing picture! This photo was posted in the photo gallery by Erik Mararv of Central African Wildlife Adventures (CAWA) of a big tusker Forest Elephant from Southern C.A.R.. Thank you Erik.

From time to time I will be featuring exceptional pictures that are posted in the photo gallery which I think everyone will appreciate...

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Forest Elephants are also sometimes referred to as Pygmy Elephants

Differences between the Forest Elephant and the African Bush Elephant:
- Smaller size; the male Forest Elephant rarely exceed 2.5 meters (8 ft) in height, while the African Bush Elephant is usually over 3 meters (just under 10 feet) and sometimes almost 4 meters (13 ft) tall
- Darker color; sometimes appearing almost black
- More rounded ears
- Narrower mandible; the African Bush Elephant's is short and wide
- Straighter and downward tusks; whereas those of the African Bush Elephant are curved
- Normally has 5 toenails on the front foot and 4 on the hind foot (like the Asian Elephant); whereas the African Bush Elephant has 4 toenails on the front foot and 3 on the hind foot
- Ivory is particularly hard and has a pinkish tinge

It was long believed that the Forest Elephant was a sub-species of the African Bush Elephant. However late in the 20th century, scientists established a DNA identification system to trace the origin of poached ivory. The DNA tests, however, indicated that the two populations (Forest and Bush) were much more different compared to what was previously believed - indeed, in its genetic makeup, the Forest Elephant is almost two-thirds as distinct from the African Bush Elephant as the Asian Elephant is. Hybrids between the Asian and Forest species can occur.

The Forest Elephant is listed as endangered under the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES). Conservationists are afraid that declaring the Forest Elephant as a separate species could open a loophole under the current treaty and open up hunting of Forest Elephants.

Forest Elephants cannot be hunted in C.A.R., however these reclusive forest dwelling Elephants may still be hunted in Cameroon (Cameroun) but the trophy cannot be imported into some countries including the United States.

Hunting Forest Elephants is not for the faint of heart, the hunting conditions are challenging and physically demanding, the trekking through the dense rain forest is slow and arduous. Although very exciting it can be quite dangerous as these Elephants are usually taken only several meters away in the dense rain forest environment. Although seemingly gentle, they can often be aggressive in close proximity.
 
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Skyline

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What a great bull! The only pictures I have seen before of ivory that big on a forest elephant are from early the early 1900's.
 

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This year, Mayo Oldiri

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Forest Elephant

Here is another picture of a Forest Elephant from CAWA posted by anton lundkvist in the photo gallery.

"Elephant on the salt lick in eastern C.A.R., the CAWA concession along the Chinkoriver. We sneeked up to the salt lick in a good wind and came very close to these elephants. They never realized we were there."

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EMararv

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Yes, this was probably the best elephant taken in Cameroun since a long time. And is really the only good elephant Mayo has taken in forest (they have BTW only taken one good elephant in Savannah too, also 2009). Nothing bad about Mayo, I have nothing against them. But forest elephants today are usually not big tuskers, just check out their web site and you will find a lot of babies... Or at least not what I call a "good tusker".
 

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Forest Elephant in C.A.R.

This is a young Forest elephant with still good and long tusks. If this elephant get's to live for another 20 years he will be VERY beautiful. This is the kind of elephant that would be taken in southern Cameroun and considered a great trophy... Even though he is way to young to get shot...

But he is beautiful, that is for sure.

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EMararv

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Red Forest Elephant in C.A.R.

A good elephant in age and body, but no tusks, or very tiny... What was interesting with this elephant was that when he turned up at the Bai where I was sitting, he was totally red, from a mud bath somewhere. On this picture he has already washed of quite a bit of the reddish colour, but is still quite funny looking...

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Shallom

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Thanks for the great photos and valuable information. The hunter who got that elephant sure is a happy camper! Great to see gems like these still roaming the wilderness. Here is one that is a "look but don't touch" tusker in Tanzania. I believe he is the biggest tusker in Tanzania at the moment. Enjoy...

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Skyline

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Absolutely awesome!!! That is the kind of beautiful ivory that East Africa was famous for. It gives you a warm fuzzy feeling just to know that a grand old bull like that is walking around. :D
 

enysse

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Thanks Ryan for that great elephant picture...it has renewed my faith that there some big ones out there. Fantastic picture.

And the forest elephant pictures were awesome too. Thanks for contributing!
 

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WOW - awesome tuskers!!
 

morioc

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Forest Elephants in the Dzanga Sangha Reserve in Central Africa.

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The Dzanga Sangha Reserve is located in the rainforest in the south-western part of the Central African Republic. It comprises a total area of more than 4 000 km2 (more than 400 000 hectares). The two central parts of the Reserve, the Dzanga and Ndoki Sectors, constitute the Dzanga Ndoki National Park, covering 495 km2 and 725 km2 respectively.

Large mammals such as forest elephants, forest buffalos, giant forest hogs, gorillas and bongos, can be encountered in densities described as unique. At the Dzanga saline (a forest clearing), more than 4000 elephants have been counted and identified over the last years. Elephants feeding on the mineral-rich soil at this saline.
 
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Bobpuckett

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Thanks all for the fantastic pictures they are truely a majestic animal.
 

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