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Amboseli's terrible 2009 drought
It is incredibly saddening to know how much the drought which happened in 2009 in Amboseli claimed so much. It is during this time of drought that elephants (and other wildlife) simply can not find enough food to eat and sadly many of them died, especially the youngest lives in the population, the calves. What was even more depressing is that so many adult elephants died in the drought too, which affects a family more than the loss of calf (but none the less the loss of any elephant, calf or adult, is tragic).
Many of the elephants which I have gotten to know and be fond of are now gone. The terrible drought claimed the much loved elephant named Echo, and being as old as she was her body was not able to hold on any longer, leaving her large family without their wise leader which they have known for many years. Many in Echo's family were born knowing Echo i.e youngsters like little Espresso have not known life without great grandmother Echo around.
The drought claimed many other elephants too, particularly the females aged over 50, a time when they are most experienced in leadership. The UA family have lost their very beautiful matriarch, Ulla. The QB lost their matriarch Qualida, the OA lost their matriarch Orlanda, the LB lost their matriarch Lucia and the list goes on and on. Some families were fortunate not to have lost their matriarch i.e the AA, DB, KA and BB, even though the BB lost 5 of their adult females including Big Tuskless's beautiful daughter Bev and Bjorn's mother Bonnie. Very tragic indeed and it just shows how life can change in the open savannah.
The 2009 drought was horrific, and I am so pleased that the elephants are recovering with new births and new lives. I will never forget those elephants that have sadly left us, their families are a remnance of their lives and they all indeed hold a very special place in our hearts.