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This family was identified by Cynthia Moss on the very first day of the project in September 1972. The AAs are one of our most dependable families. They are led by grand old matriarch, Alison, who became a great-grandmother in 2012 and is the third oldest female alive in the population today.

Our most famous and beloved family, led by the iconic Echo for more than four decades, the EBs are still recovering from her death in 2009. She left a strong legacy; from seven 7 members in 1972 the family has grown to 46 members today.

Fanny is a confident female, who inherited a lot of feistiness from her mother Freda, one of the most dominant characters in our study. She often moves independently from sweet-natured Felicity, who as the oldest took over as family matriarch.

With over 50 living individuals this is one of the larger families in the Amboseli ecosystem; the GBs are calm and majestic with some very wise female leadership. The GBs have taught our researchers a lot about motherhood, displaying some never seen before behaviour. This family has had a very interesting social history – they are only family in our 44 years of research of this population to ever spit and then rejoin again.

Once one of our most central families, the large and successful OAs have changed tactics in recent years and have now moved to areas towards the edge of the Park. A large thriving family with many adult females, they are in the process of splitting into two.

The PC family originated through the very first family split documented in the study, when Phoebe and Patricia split from Penelope half of the PAs. They split further in 2007, but now both sections are very small, and they might be “getting back together”.

“Elephants form deep bonds with each other, which last for decades. Elephant survival is strongly affected by access to the social and ecological knowledge that older elephants hold; where to go, what to eat, how to avoid danger.”
- Dr. Cynthia Moss