Shoshangaan the Tusker Dies of Natural Causes

Just the other day Shoshangaan (Shoshangane) came to visit guests at Ezulwini River Lodge. Little did they know that this would be the last time this majestic jumbo would set foot on Ezulwini soil. It’s with great sadness that we announce the death of Soshangane (aka Shoshangaan), the huge collared Tusker who frequented River Lodge. The Balule certainly has lost a great spirit.

Yesterday, the non-profit organisation called “Elephants Alive” reported the death of Soshangane.

Elephant’s Alive said, “Soshangane gets his name from a powerful Shangaan chief who used to rule over a splinter group of the mighty Zulu chief, Chaka. Like his name sake, Soshangane commanded the respect of many younger bulls.”

We believe that this graceful bull was between 40 – 45 years old and wandered over from the Kruger National Park onto the Ezulwini traverse. When he was first identified in 2005 the Elephant’s Alive foundation collared him to monitor his behaviour and movements throughout the reserve. In 2009 and 2014 he was recollared with a satellite collar.

So how and why did this elephant die? Shoshangaan was involved in a fight with another bull and sustained what were believed to be superficial wounds. A couple of weeks later it was discovered he was in pain becuase he groaned when he moved. The Elephant’s Alive foundation consulted with expert veteranians who agreed that nothing could be done. In the end, Shoshangaan died of a heart attack due to a secondary infection. For a more detailed analysis and autopsy description, please consult the Elephants Alive Facebook page.

Here are a few of our special moments with Shoshangane. And let us celebrate that, although a tragedy, this bull died of natural causes and is now returned to the earth.

Shoshangaan Balule


An elephant at a waterhole, Balule


Shoshangaan Tusker

Shoshangaan Balule

Balule Tusker

Jumbo Balule

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