Knysna forest in South Africa

Knysna forest
A feeding Knysna elephant by Hylton Herd (SANParks)
A feeding Knysna elephant by Hylton Herd (SANParks)


Country South Africa
Website Website


Key People 1782-1782: François Levaillant (researcher)
2019-2019: Lizette Moolman (researcher)


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History of updates2024-02-18

Latest document update2024-02-18 14:59:48
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Knysna forest, South Africa .

Living elephants

At the Knysna forest lives 1 elephants with records in this database: (detail list)
  1. Output

Comments / picturesKnysna forest covers a mere 568 km2 (Midgley et al. 1997). The Knysna forest occurs along the southern Cape coastline of South Africa, at 34°S and between 22° and 25°E. in the 19th century, a population that came to be known as the “Knysna elephants” (a reference to the nearest big town) were the most southerly Group of elephants in Africa.

Over time they became the only free-ranging elephants in South Africa. Their numbers were decimated by the Ivory market and habitat transformation.

Of roughly 500 elephants in the 1860s, just 12 remained by 1920.

In 1970, that number was ten; by 1990, only four (Vermeulen 2000).

Until recently, it was believed that only one elephant, an elderly cow, remained (Panafrican News Agency 2000).

In early October 2000, however, a young bull was photographed in the forest (Panafrican News Agency 2000).

2008-09-30: Knysna, South Africa;
"Although SANParks believes there is no reliable evidence that more than one elephant is living in the indigenous Knysna forests, it has begun a DNA study of dung to determine the size of the Herd. "
SANParks focuses on Knysna forest elephants

References for records about Knysna forest

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan (2024). Knysna forest, Elephant Encyclopedia. Available online at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

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