Tafika – the dominant male!
Tafika has certainly grown more comfortable and confident with his position in the herd, demonstrated by his more amicable behaviours towards his surrogate siblings.
In fact, over the past quarter, there have been very few accounts of Tafika bullying any of his herd members during their nights in the boma. However, this may have been associated with Batoka leaving the herd and Tafika taking on the role as the most dominant male.
As a result, Tafika may have been less frustrated because he no longer had answer to Batoka or lose sparring sessions, therefore he was less likely to take his frustrations out on the younger elephants. Alternatively, he may have been missing his closest herd companion, Batoka, and was attempting to make other friendships within the herd. It is difficult to distinguish exactly what caused Tafika’s slightly calmer demeanor, perhaps he is simply growing more mature.
When Batoka rejoined the herd at the end of March after his 6-week independent journey in Kafue National Park, Tafika eagerly greeted him! The two bulls exchanged loud rumbles and affiliative greeting behaviors such as touching their trunk to the other’s mouth and trunk twining. Tafika was even heavily streaming from his temporal glands upon reuniting with Batoka.
Tafika’s strong bond with Batoka and newly developing kind disposition to his younger surrogate siblings demonstrate that he is maturing socially and has grown comfortable with his status amongst the herd.
Tafika to date:
Age: 10 years 5 months
Height: 196 cm
We look forward to sharing more stories about Tafika’s exploits with you in the year ahead! If you’re interested in learning more about this iconic species or the other animals that we work hard to protect please visit our website.