VIDEO | Rare Knysna elephant sighting excites forest contract worker

A Southern Cape man has joined an elite group of people lucky enough to spot the elusive Knysna elephant.

A Southern Cape man has joined an elite group of people lucky enough to spot the elusive Knysna elephant.

Boeta Terblanche, owner of LL Transport and Harvesting had been working in the MTO Forestry area in Knysna for about three weeks when he and a colleague, manager Stephen Horn, came across an elephant at about 2pm on Wednesday.

They have not revealed the exact location for the elephant’s safety.

“Every morning when we arrived at the plantation, we would see the trees along the road had been trampled, so there was evidence of an elephant,” he told HeraldLIVE.

They were driving along a dirt road, surveying trees, when suddenly they saw an elephant ahead of them on Wednesday afternoon.

“We were actually in shock and then we realised we had to take a video because we wouldn’t get the chance again. It was really amazing. The elephant just turned around and carried on walking,” Terblanche, whose company harvests trees from the forestry, said.

“We were lucky. There are people who have worked here for nine years, and they’ve seen the evidence, but they’ve never seen an actual elephant.”

Terblanche, who is based in George but will be harvesting trees in the forest for another month, said he hoped he would be lucky enough to spot an elephant a second time.

The video was shared to several Facebook groups including The Knysna Elephants and Forests Facebook where members speculated about the elephant’s gender, well-being and possible thoughts.

Tanya Steininger wrote: “Wow! Thank you for sharing. Just strange it didn’t leave scared by the noise... maybe it enjoys or was fascinated by the moving metal construction that has music coming from it!”

Lindsay Speirs du Toit wrote: “Amazing! Still only proof of one though, sad.”

Alouise Lynch wrote: “The forehead of this individual seems to be gently sloping – not angular – which leans toward a bull in my opinion.

“It’s mannerism when walking away from the vehicle is also reminiscent of a bull. Keen to hear more thoughts on this. A truely spectacular sighting!!!”

While it is believed about 1,000 elephant roamed the Tsitsikamma area in the early 1900s, there have been fewer sightings over the years.

Garden Route National Park spokesperson Nandi Mgwadlamba said it was a “rare occasion to spot an elephant and this needs to be celebrated”.

“He’s (Terblanche) one of a few people who’ve seen a Knysna elephant. There are maybe one or two a year,” she said.

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