Proof of Elephants still in Knysna Forests!

Early this morning we set off on a walking trail near Forest Edge Cottages, just 10km outside of Knysna. We were specifically looking for any evidence of the Elephants who some believe still roam wild in the Knysna Forests. SANParks believes there is is just 1 solitary elephant still roaming the Knysna Forest, aged between 25 to 35 years old (middle aged, elephants live up to 60 years old).

Not expecting to find any real proof, what we found really surprised us! Elephant dung! The elephant dung had been there for few months, and already had forest mushrooms growing in and around it.

Here is a 360 degree photo of the Elephant dung found, conclusive proof that wild Elephants do still exist in the Knysna Forests!

Dung of Knysna Elephants in Knysna Forests in South Africa

Here are some stills photos of the elephant dung:

The small elephant dung we found in Knysna Forest

The small elephant dung we found in Knysna Forest

This dung was small, could it mean there is a young elephant too?

Elephant dung closeup

Elephant dung closeup

More elephant dung in Knysna Forests

More elephant dung in Knysna Forests

We came across more sites of Elephant dung later on in the walk too, but these were older examples. Also found many fallen trees, but hard to say that elephants had been the cause. Here is some of the larger dung we found, definably a full grown elephant (the others were small dung, a baby perhaps?)

Flattened Elephant dung in Knysna Forest

Flattened Elephant dung in Knysna Forest

Large Elephant dung balls in Knysna Forest

Large Elephant dung balls in Knysna Forest

We also found many types of mushrooms and butterflys, and a millipede.

Mushrooms in Knysna Forest

Mushrooms in Knysna ForestButterfly sorry we could not get closer

Butterfly sorry we could not get closer

Butterfly sorry we could not get closer

A Millipede known as a shongololo in South Africa

A Millipede known as a shongololo in South Africa

At the very start of the walk we heard a loud clap, much like a distant gunshot, then moments later loud crashing noise of a huge tree falling. We ran ahead to try catch the action, but arrived just too late. About 300 meters from where we first hear the noise, this huge tree had fallen across the road. Small branches were still cracking and breaking off as the tree settled in to its new position, right across the road, and 3 meter above the road! We had to walk under the tree to get past as the bush was too thick to pass around.

Any elephant dung experts out there, please leave comments below.

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4 Responses to “Proof of Elephants still in Knysna Forests!”

  1. SimonB says:

    There are no elephants left in the Knysna forests, it’s a myth, however!
    I am no expert but that looks like elephant turd to me. Looks like you onto something. Walk deeper into the forest and who knows maybe you will find lochness poo also ;-)

  2. Tony says:

    Read – The secret elephants by Gareth Patterson – It will give you a the most detailed account avalable the the elephants and there babys that do still roam the Forest.

  3. Ronel says:

    The Bigfeet exist without a doubt – a must read is Gareth Patterson’s new book “The Secret Elephants” published in Dec 2009. DNA analysis and research undertaken over the past 7-odd years point to at least 6 female elephants still around, of which one appears to be a baby, implying the presence of a bull somewhere too. I have seen some of the damage they caused recently. And fresh path-signs destroyed further along the same footpath you walked – photos were sent to me by Outeniqua Forest Ramblers just this morning – the signs are mangled!

  4. Thanks for letting me know, and for directing me to your blog.

    Interestingly, at the time of your visit to the forest there was also very recent activity of elephants. These elephants routinely pull down metal trail signs, and this was what happened again at the end of last week.

    The older droppings you saw were from around about November last year, and an elephant all but demolished a timber platform at that time. This was probably linked to musth bull behaviour. Over the years I have observed that a Knysna bull comes into musth at the end of each year and stays in this condition for a number of months. Once I had this bull very close by, but was unseen. It was though the strong musth smell that abundantly told me of his presence. I tell of this occasion in my recently published book on the Knysna elephants, entitled The Secret Elephants (Penguin Books).

    Thanks again for contacting me about the elephants. You can read some updates on the Knysna elephants on my blog and site http://www.garethpatterson.com
    All the best,
    Gareth

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