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Gida-Gida was named in memory of Sgt. Jan Mdluli who served 30 years of loyal service as a field ranger in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Gida-Gida is short for the Shangaan expression, ‘Gida-gida nkondzo was Ndlopfu’, meaning ‘the one with feet the size of an Elephant’s’ – due to the fact that Jan Mdluli wears a size 12 shoe.
This bull was first noted in May 2011 by Louis Olivier (Regional Ranger, Nxanatseni South) who had seen him in the Letaba River close to the restcamp and initially thought he was seeing another elephant called Tsotsi, as they have similar features. The tusker was carefully examined as the tusks were not as substantial in weight as expected for Tsotsi. A sighting a little more than a week later by the 2009 Emerging Tuskers Competition Winner, Anja Stolk in which a full series of photos showing unique characteristic’s was provided and confirmed we had a ‘look alike’ with only a few differing features.
Sadly Gida-Gida was lost on the 4th of July 2012 and investigation of the tusks and carcass confirmed that this was in fact the popular tusker from the Letaba area. Gida-Gida had not yet reached his prime as a large tusker but was growing considerably and had the potential to be a prominent tusker of the area.
Text: South African National Parks
Photo copyright: Anja Stolk