An elephant was recently photographed by a trap camera, placed in the Knysna forest, by the Landmark Foundation, set-up for leopard research. The Foundation’s exciting leopard research involves determining the leopard population status in the Garden Route.
The footage includes photographs of an elephant whose tusks, trunk and legs are visible but unfortunately the forehead shape as well as sex organs and ear-notch patterns are not visible, for identification purposes.
SANParks’ scientists have, in recent years, moved away from relying on photographic techniques for population status determination, due to potential disturbances to the elephants. The focus of studies now focuses on non-invasive hormone studies using dung, to determine the reproductive potential of these elusive elephants. However, opportunistic photographs, such as these recent photographs taken by the Landmark Foundation’s camera trap, are always a very welcome addition to SANParks’ elephant research database, existing since 1987.