Most of you that have stayed with us will have either seen or heard of Elliot. For those of you that haven’t had the pleasure of meeting him, allow me to introduce him to you.

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We first saw Elliot in 2008 when he was just a cub, his mother is known to us as Kylie who is a legend in the surrounding area of Mwamba Bush Camp and had just given birth to two cubs a girl and a boy; one of which was Elliot.

Soon after on a drive guests came across Kylie and Elliot but no second cub. On closer inspection they could see Elliot had a very severe eye injury. His eye was hanging literally by a thread and everyone thought that there is no way any animal could possibly live with such bad injury. To everyone’s surprise he was seen a few days later with the eye totally gone. He was doing just fine and since that day has continued to astound us with his talent for survival and ingenuity.

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Skip forward six years to the beginning of our 2014 season with our first sighting of Elliot. It was just after we had opened, he was in a Ebony tree just outside Mwamba Bush Camp looking very healthy. He kept popping up for the first few months here and there until August time when he seemed to disappear. It was not until mid September when we found him around the Deb’s tree area which is a long way from his usual territory. Everyone was ecstatic to see him but we soon saw that he had huge gaping wounds on both hind legs which could have either come from a close encounter with lions or more likely a fight with a male leopard. Again we were all worried for his well being but he did not seem to share our concerns as he then lead us straight to a fresh kill he had made minutes before.

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From there on to the end of the season he kept popping up all over the place from Fish eagle lagoon to Elephant bend (that’s a long way for those of you who don’t know the area) and appears to be living a nomadic existence which i think is down to the fact that he only has one eye and is unable to fight other stronger males for his own territory, but as these magnificent animals tend to do he has found a way to survive and thrive against all odds. I think this is what has endeared us all at Shenton Safaris to Elliot and we look forward to next season to see what surprises he has in store for us.

Matt Armstrong-Ford

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Matt Armstrong-Ford has written 76 post in this blog.

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