Family Histories

The AA Family
The AA Family

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 CB Family
The CB Family

One of the most tight-knit and affectionate Amboseli families, Celeste would reign as matriarch for many years.

EB Family
EB Family

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.

GB & GB2 Families
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.

IA/IC Family
IA/IC Family

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.

KA Family
KA Family

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.

MA Family
MA Family

The MAs were a difficult family to work out early in the study, because they were so closely bonded to the WA family. This friendship has now lasted thirty years.

PA Family
PA Family

One of the biggest Amboseli families, the PAs have provided us with many important data points as well as many wonderful hours of field time.

RA Family
RA Family

Fascinating, and frustrating, the RAs have challenged and puzzled us with their family dynamics.

T Family
T Family

Immortalised in Cynthia’s book, Elephant Memories, the Ts remain close to our hearts.

VA Family
VA Family

The largest and most dominant family in Amboseli, the VAs have been fiercely successful.

XA Family
XA Family

Wise Xanthippe and her crew are great friends with the RA family, but this friendship has caused us some confusion.

ZA FAMILY
ZA FAMILY

Not surprisingly the ZA family was one of the last families to be identified as the elephant families are categorized into alphabetical order.  

The BB Family
The BB Family

The wonderful story of Big Tuskless and her family and their ups and downs.

The D Families
The D Families

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.

FB Family
FB Family

Feisty Freda and her family.

HA Family
HA Family

Always tiny, the HAs have managed to persist against the odds.

JA & JA2 Families
JA & JA2 Families

Beautiful Jezebel led the JA family for many years, and this sweet family of characters has always been a firm favourite with ATE researchers.

LC Family
LC Family

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. All these events add to our knowledge of the flexibility of elephant family dynamics.

OA Family
OA Family

Renowned for their exceptionally beautiful females, the OA family are close friends with the CBs.

QB Family
QB Family

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.

SA Family
SA Family

One of the earliest Amboseli families sighted, the SAs were so named because somehow their females became known as Sandy and Shirley.

UA Family
UA Family

Close friends of the BB family, the UAs have always been small but have successfully raised several handsome males.

WA Family
WA Family

The WAs have shown us how strong elephant friendships can be, through their long association with the MA family.

YA Family
YA Family

The YAs have always been a small family but they are hanging in there, and we are very fond of them.

“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