Shawu was part of seven impressive elephant bulls, all with tusks weighing more than 50 kg each that could be found in the Kruger National Park. The Chief Warden at the time, Dr U de V Pienaar, decided to publicise these elephants as a successful example of Kruger's conservation work.
Shawu, born in 1926 and died in 1982, was named after the Shawu Valley in which he spent much of his life. He was a fairly approachable animal and showed no particular fear for vehicles or humans. His name in Afrikaans was "Groot Haaktand" or "Large Hook-Tooth" (in english)
Shawu moved over a large range which spanned between the Letaba and Shingwedzi rivers and stretched from the main road to the Lebombo hills. This is an enormous area and it took him about six months to travel from South to North.
In 1981 it was decided to fit Shawu with a collar as poaching was a constant threat from Mozambique, this was successfully executed.
Shawu was a large bull having a shoulder height of 3.4 meter.
3.17 meter 3.05 meter
52.6 kg 50.8 kg
Circumference at Lip 4.5 meter
The left tusk of Shawu is the longest tusk on record from the Kruger National Park and one of the six longest ever to come out of Africa. This pair of tusks ranks among the longest pairs in the Rowland Ward’s Records of Big Game.
Shawu died of old age in the Kostini area east of Shingwedzi, near the northern watershed of the Shawu Valley in October 1982. He had been ill for some time and his condition and movements were monitored daily towards the end of his life. He was close to 60 years old when he died.
(Shawu’s tusks are on display in the Letaba Elephant Hall)
Based on photo by Anthony Hall Martin Statue in the Palace Hotel in Sun City
Statue in the Palace Hotel in Sun City
Information and photos from different sources and internet sites.