cmoss's blog

Losing Old Friends

Sun, 2009-08-02 09:55 by cmoss
Ulla Grace

Amboseli is experiencing the worst drought in decades. The Maasai elders say it is the most severe drought since 1961 when they lost almost all their cattle. I have been through two previous bad years: 1976 and 1984. By the end of 1976, 68 elephants had died, many from the drought, others from the competition and conflict caused by the drought, and still others from poaching. During 1984, 70 elephants died, most from the same three causes.

Update on the EB Family: 13 June 2009

Sat, 2009-06-13 15:08 by cmoss
Enid and her youngest calf

It is six weeks since Echo died. The family is still split into sub-units but there seems to be a pattern emerging.

Ella’s section of the family has not been seen. In fact, the records show that she left the area before Echo died. This kind of move is not unusual for Ella, but to stay away for this long is unexpected. Ella, who is Echo’s sister and is the oldest female remaining at 44 years old, forms a small sub-group of nine animals including her two daughters Emma and Elettra and their calves.

"Echo of Amboseli" Painting

Tue, 2009-05-26 07:36 by cmoss

A world renowned wildlife artist known as BAS made a beautiful painting of Echo last year which is now available in limited edition prints.This artwork is part of the Echo Project which is a collaboration between the Amboseli Trust for Elephants and The Art of BAS. Funds raised through the sale of the Original Oil Painting and its associated Fine Art Canvas Limited Edition reproductions will benefit the valuable work of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants.

Animal Planet Series on Echo & Amboseli

Tue, 2009-05-19 15:08 by cmoss

The 13-part Animal Planet series on the Amboseli elephants and the work of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants premiered in Australia and New Zealand today (19 May). If you are in either of these countries and missed the first episodes it is being re-broadcast several times over the next week. Here is the link for the schedule:

Echo's Family

Sun, 2009-05-10 09:49 by cmoss

It is one week since Echo died. All of us who have spent so much time with her over the years are now here: Soila, Norah, Katito, Robert, Martyn Colbeck and I.

Martyn flew out from the UK last Sunday and got down to Amboseli on Monday morning. By then Echo had died and her body had been moved to a quiet place that was one of her favorites for resting with the family. I arrived from the US on Tuesday night and flew down to Amboseli on Thursday morning.


Sun, 2009-05-03 23:25 by cmoss

I have some very sad news to relay. Echo died today (Sun, 3. May 2009) at 2:42pm in Amboseli. She collapsed yesterday morning and was unable to get up. ATE staff Katito and Robert stayed with her the whole time. We believe she died from a combination of old age and the long three-year drought Amboseli has been experiencing. Echo was probably the best known wild elephant in the world because she featured in three BBC documentaries about her and her family: Echo of the Elephants; Echo of the Elephants, the Next Generation; and Echo of the Elephants, the Final Chapter?

The Amboseli Book

Sat, 2009-04-25 06:20 by cmoss

I am very pleased to report that my AERP colleagues and I delivered the final chapter for the big Amboseli book to the University of Chicago Press last night. We first met to discuss the contents of this book in September 1998, which means it has only taken us 10 and a half years to complete. It has been an extremely difficult task but we continued to believe it was worthwhile and that we couldn't abandon it, as much as we sometimes wanted to. Talk about an albatross on one's back--this was a huge baby elephant.

Dates for Animal Planet Series on the Amboseli Elephants

Mon, 2009-03-23 15:57 by cmoss

The 13-part animal planet series on the Amboseli elephants and the work of ATE has been completed and we are beginning to get some dates. We still don't know the exact dates for the US and UK, but we know that it will be towards the end of the year. In the meantime, here are some definite dates that we do know:

APL Australia/NZ 5.19.09
APL SE Asia 5.31.09
APL Brazil 6.11.09
APL India 6.19.09
APL Japan 5.30.09
APL Latin 6.11.09
APL Taiwan 5.31.09

Report on Elephant Poaching and Ivory Trade in the Amboseli Area

Sat, 2009-02-14 08:35 by cmoss
Poached Kisanjani 02crop


We have some very disturbing news from Amboseli. The situation for elephants in the area has become critical over the past year and more particularly over the past four months. Elephants are being wounded and killed by spears, poison arrows and bullets at an alarming rate. For the first time in many years, tusks are being removed by unknown persons. Through our investigations we have discovered that the ivory is being sold at 3000/- shillings ($38) per kilo. Most of the ivory is reported to be going across the border into Tanzania. Unless this killing and the trade are stopped now, the famous Amboseli elephants will be decimated.

End-of-Year Report by the Director

Wed, 2008-12-31 09:41 by cmoss

I am posting my end-of-year report that I send out to donors. It is eight pages long and full of information about what we have been doing during 2008. We have many problems and challenges but we have also had successes to be pleased about.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year, Cynthia