Jun 22, 2010
From our friends at Kwando Safaris:
While staying at Kwando’s Nxai Pan camp, Stuart Arnold, a Botswana-based professional photographer was amazed to spot an unusual elephant drinking at the waterhole at the front of the camp. Upon closer inspection it was discovered that the elephant carried an amazing 3 tusks!!
The tusks of an African Elephant grow continuously throughout their life – a bull elephant’s tusks can grow up to 18 cm in a year. Tusks are an elephant’s tool and they are used for a variety of tasks including digging for water and roots or to strip bark from trees.
All elephant’s, like humans are either right- or left-handed, favoring a right or left tusk. The most often used tusk, is generally shorter due to wear and tear. While the majority of elephants have two tusks, occasionally individual elephants exhibit abnormal growth which can include additional tusks. Such examples are extremely rare. As one can see from the images, the elephant is a mature bull and therefore has managed to live a long life despite his unusual third tusk.