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The History of the EB Family
I first met the EBs in August 1973. I was with my colleague Harvey Croze, who helped set up the Project. At the time we were working part-time on the study based in Nairobi. On that trip we photographed several families, and among them was a female with bony shoulders who carried her head low. We found this "head-low female" again in November of that year and photographed her along with an older female who had two U-shaped tears out of her right ear. I saw these two females together several more times over the next months. It appeared that they belonged to a small family consisting of about seven members.
In April 1974 Harvey and I put radio-collars on three adult females in the population. At that time we did not know the population well and thus we simply chose the animals opportunistically, trying to find matriarchs from different parts of the Park to determine their movements and distribution. We decided to start in the East. We went to the Longinye Swamp and the first group we came upon happened to be the family with the "head-low" and "U-nicks right" females. We chose the oldest female, the matriarch, and Harvey shot her with a dart containing an immobilizing drug. The collar was quickly secured, some measurements taken, and then she was given an antidote which took affect very rapidly. In a few minutes she was up on her feet and in less than half an hour she was back with her family. We were fascinated to see that the family, although very frightened, would not leave the scene but rather waited about 200 meters away watching nervously. On this day we were able to get a good look at the family and note down the age structure. There were two adult females, two adolescents--a male and female, and three calves--one about two years old, another about five years old, and the third about six years old.
We hadn't yet assigned the family an alphabetical code nor had we given the females names. Because we often saw these elephants closely associated with the family that we had already assigned the code EA to, we assigned them the code EB. We named the matriarch with the radio collar "Echo" because of the sounds her collar was making, and the second female "Emily". Echo was the female with the two U-shaped nicks, and Emily was the "head-low female".
To read the full history of the EB family open the attachment.