Central Limpopo Elephant Herd Aerial Count

The clouds finally lifted and Dr Jeanetta Selier, elephant specialist, received last minute clearance from the Central Aviation Authorities of Zimbabwe to conduct an aerial count over the Central Limpopo Valley area, encompassing SE Botswana, Northern South Africa and SW Zimbabwe to scientifically ennumerate the elephants that reside in our Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area. I don't know if it is just because of the drought that the elephant pressure on our environment seems to have increased, but it will be interesting to know just how many elephants traverse Sentinel and its neighbours. Yesterday afternoon, we arrived at Dumbi waterhole just as a young tuskless cow and her two babies were arriving at the waterhole to drink. My sister-in-law, Leigh Bristow, remarked that the smaller calf of her two, which was still fluffy with red down on his back, reminded her of a little flower bud, his ears still formed close to his head and shoulders like magnolia petals, yet to burst open! He had to be very young, still able to walk under his mother's belly with ease and some clearance! Needless to say, he was very cute. He got down on his knees at the edge of the pool to take water directly into mouth, his uncoordinated little trunk completely useless to the task of drinking! Most people don't realise that baby ellies take months to gain control over their trunks well enough to suck water in and fill their mouths!