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Hapoor Jnr was one of the eastern cape’s legendary elephant bulls. Those fortunate to have encountered him understand what an amazing elephant bull he was and one who had faced numerous challenges in life. They witnessed a piece of history, which some of us can now only read about.
Hapoor Jnr was born in 1954 and sired by the similarly legendary Hapoor Snr, a dominating bull who reigned over all in the Addo Elephant National Park from 1944 to 1958. He was quite a different character to his son in all, but his temperament, which his sons duly inherited. He was an incredibly handsome elephant and his large evenly set tusks emerging from his head were unmistakable.
Hapoor Jnr was relocated to Pumba Private Game Reserve in 2005.This decision was taken in order to diminish the competition and fighting amongst the elephant bulls in Addo. Hapoor at the time had been the dominating bull for 26 years, during which time he had killed 8 other bulls, who had challenged his dominance. With Hapoor now getting on in years, park management feared that he would be challenged and be killed or injured by younger bulls. It was agreed that Pumba would provide Hapoor Jnr with a safe home for the rest of his life.
During the relocation program, Pumba purchased four of the twelve bulls to be relocated with Hapoor Jnr immediately imposing his dominance. In 2011, he challenged another bull, which ended up paying with its life. Hapoor remained an extremely well natured and relaxed bull and sired four calves at his new home.
He dominated all on the reserve including tractors and game viewing vehicles. He was admired and respected by all field staff and lodge staff and guests alike. He would often visit the lodges, going right into the gardens to help himself to delights such as aloes and kiepersols, or would visit the conference room at Pumba water lodge, to use the thatch roof as a site to scratch his ears.
In March 2012, Hapoor Jnr got into another tragic fight with an elephant, who finally took over the upper hand – Harpoor was killed that day. Later that year, Hapoor’s daughter was born…and so the legend continues!
Text: Bob Preller