Where it all began… The story of Wart Ear and her family, the first elephants identified in 1972 by Cynthia Moss and Harvey Croze.
The CA family was first recorded on October 10, 1973. At that time the Amboseli Elephant Research Project was just getting started. They had a very distinctive looking matriarch at the time we named Curtain Ear
One of the most tight-knit and affectionate Amboseli families, Celeste would reign as matriarch for many years.
The Ds have shown us some of the most interesting family dynamics over the time we have known them, including one female going off with an unrelated female and creating a whole new family unit.
We saw the EA family on the very first day the project began, but at the time we were only familiarizing ourselves with the elephants so they had not been categorized and named until a year later.
Possibly the most famous elephant ever, Echo led her family from seven members at the start of the study, to a flourishing 37 at the time of her death in 2009. She remains an Amboseli icon.
The FA family was discovered and photographed on the second day of the Amboseli Elephant Research Project on September 2, 1972.
GB & GB2 FAMILIES
The GB family split into two parts, but since the time of writing these two parts have rejoined one another. This rejoin was precipitated by the loss of two big females, Gladys and Gwen in 2009, and is the first time we have ever documented this kind of flexibility.
The HBs are a good example of how important leadership skills and knowledge among females are in contributing to a family’s success. Over the years they have had some incredible leadership in Horatia and Hazel, leading to the gradual growth of this family. We predict the HBs will go on to be one of the biggest families in the Amboseli population.
Three Holes appeared in the Amboseli population around 1977, a “floater” who must have lost the rest of her family. She joined Isabel and the IA family, and eventually became their matriarch – a wonderful example of social flexibility.
The IB family was first recorded on March 16, 1974. They were found on
the eastern side of the Park with the GB and PA families.
The JB’s were first photographed by Dr Ian Douglas-Hamilton who Dr Cynthia Moss worked with in her early career.
The KAs have had more than their fair share of troubles over the time we have known them, but they are currently flourishing once again.
The KBs are one of the immigrant groups that moved into the central region of Amboseli in the late ’70s.
The LB family is one of the biggest and in some ways the most successful of
any family in Amboseli.
The LC family is another family with a somewhat unusual history. The members originally belonged to the LA family when Cynthia first got to know them back in 1975.
The LD family has had a very interesting history. It started out as part of the LB
family, which was one of the immigrant groups that moved into the central region of Amboseli in the late 1970s.
The MB family was one of the last families to be recognized in the Amboseli population.
Renowned for their exceptionally beautiful females, the OA family are close friends with the CBs.
The OBs were one of the last families to be recorded in the early years of our research. It was not until the 1980s that this small family was identified, having migrated from the East into Amboseli.
PC & PC2 FAMILY
The PC and PC2 families have had an unusual history. Up until 1982 the
PCs were part of the PAs, which was the largest family in the Amboseli
Qumquat became a tragic Amboseli icon in October 2012, when she and her two daughters were slaughtered by poachers. The QBs have had their fair share of tribulations: here is their story up to August 2012.
Fascinating, and frustrating, the RAs have challenged and puzzled us with their family dynamics.
First recorded on April 6, 1974 after the matriarch had a radio collar put on her. We called her Sona because of the beeping sounds that we picked up on the radio receiver.
Immortalised in Cynthia’s book, Elephant Memories, the Ts remain close to our hearts.
Close friends of the BB family, the UAs have always been small but have successfully raised several handsome males.
The WAs have shown us how strong elephant friendships can be, through their long association with the MA family.
The WB family was one of the last to be identified in Amboseli. They were seen twice in 1977, but it wasn’t until late 1978 that we started to see them again.
The YAs have always been a small family but they are hanging in there, and we are very fond of them.