October 2023

Being Butch

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Being Butch

Being Butch

We’re able to identify some of the large tuskers on the reserve, not only by their tusks but also tears on their ear edges, scars and overall size and shape. This calm old soul is a bull we call ‘Butch’ named after the man who first saw him on the reserve back in 2018 /19. Butch moved on his own accord from Gonarezhou National Park in the south, to retire at Malilangwe.

He has lost a lot of condition in the past six months and has recently recovered from a huge wound on the one side of his upper hip close to his tail. We don’t know how it happened, but at least he is on the mend.

We estimate that he must be on the last part of molar six which would put him around 58-60 years of age. Their lifespan is 60 to 70 years. Elephants grind their way through six sets of molars in a lifetime. As one set wears out, another moves up from the back of the mouth to replace it until the final set wears out and the elephant is no longer able to chew.

Jenny Hishin
By Jenny Hishin
Author / Guest Guide