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Elephant(Loxodanta africana)

The African Elephant is the world’s largest land mammal. He stands more than eleven feet at the shoulder and can weigh-in at over seven tons. His dark grey skin provides excellent camouflage in the dense brush of the bushveld. He moves through the bush with amazing speed for his size and can be extremely quiet.

While his eyesight is relatively poor, his hearing is very good and his sense of smell is without equal. Over his lifetime he receives 6 sets of molars, which move forward in his jaw as previous sets wear down. His last set of teeth comes in at about 45 years of age and once these wear out he can only look forward to slow starvation. Thus, depending on his diet his lifespan is somewhere between 50 and 70 years.

He is a destructive feeder preferring grass, and rather than adapting to his habitat, he adapts his habitat to suit his purpose. He can consume up to 500 pounds of grass and “browse” each and every day. The Elephant is a very social animal found in small herds made up of cows, calves, and adolescents. Bulls are usually found on their own or in small bachelor herds and only occasionally with a herd of cows. Tuskless cows and cows with calves by their sides can be extremely aggressive.

You hunt Elephant with Witkop Safaris with your feet; the stalk can be quite long and cover many miles. While Elephant with Witkop Safaris the .375 is the minimum caliber by law, there will be no room for error in your shot placement. Hunt this “big guy” with the largest rifle you can shoot well; 40 and even 50 caliber rifles with 400 to 500 grain solid bullets should definitely your choice. A fifty-yard shot might be considered a long shot on the elephant as most are taken at between 20 and 30 yards when hunting Elephant with Witkop Safaris. If broadside, place your shot just above and slightly forward of the armpit crease of the front leg. The frontal chest shot is only possible if “Timbo” raises his trunk … The frontal brain shot can be very difficult; the brain lies on a line directly between the ear holes, but shot placement will depend on the position of the head and the proximity of the elephant. Contrary to the opinion of some, the Elephant is not endangered and in fact several countries of Southern Africa have been forced to institute culling operations to keep their numbers in check. Even in a sparsely populated country like Botswana, the encroachment of civilization has severely limited the elephants habitat. Botswana’s Elephant population of well over 100,000 are confined to a habitat that will support less than half this numbers.

 

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