A mighty bull elephant

A huge bull elephant comes for a drink at a waterhole in Madikwe Game Reserve. Male elephants are generally solitary creatures, although friendships between groups of males have also been documented.
For one month of the year, bull elephants go into the condition of musth. During this time the bull produces 40 to 60 times more testosterone than usual. It makes him aggressive and unpredictable, and the best advice for other elephants and humans alike is to give the bull lots of space.
Musth is similar to what happens to Popeye when he downs a can op spinach. In musth, a male that is way down the ladder can challenge a dominant bull and win. When a bull elephant has broken tusks like this one, it may well be the result of a fight with another elephant!

Author: johannekekroesbergen

I am an anthropologist of religion and photographer, currently living in Pretoria, South Africa. I wrote my PhD-thesis on narratives about Satanism in Zambia. Currently I am preparing a new research project that uses photography as an ethnographic method. In my free time, I love hiking, safaris and enjoying nature through photography.

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