Ely: Wanted, Alive!

Wed, 2007-12-12 06:35 by hcroze
Ely, Jan-03, left ear Ely, Jan-03, right ear

Peter Dennis asked in a recent comment, "how Ely is doing?" Good question. Those of you who have seen the first of the three-part BBC Echo of the Elephants TV series will remember Ely as Echo's fourth calf, the heroic little fellow born in 1990 who overcame a birth defect that crippled his front legs for nearly a week until after innumerable tries he forced himself to stand.

Ely was born with his carpal joints (front 'knees' effectively) bent severely back in a rare condition known as 'flexure of the pasterns'. Cynthia tells us in her 1992 book, Echo of the Elephants (London: BBC Books) that the condition is known in domestic animals, including horses, but had never been described before in an elephant. Another first for the project! And a great moment of joy when Ely was at last able to suckle properly and keep up with his mother and the rest of the family.

Ely was officially dubbed an independent male in 2002, and was last photographed in January 2003 (see mug shots, above). We all fervently hope that he has just taken his independence very seriously -- rebelling from his home-body mother -- and is alive and well, say, in Tanzania. Later on in the year, Martyn Colbeck (see note on the current Animal Planet filming project), Cynthia and the research team, spent many hours looking for Ely during the filming of Echo-III. But, no luck.

So, anyone having information concerning the whereabouts of Ely please contact his mother (or AERP staff) immediately.

Thanks for the reply about

Wed, 2008-01-02 02:50 by Pete666

Thanks for the reply about Ely, I've often wondered how he was doing. Purely as a rhetorical question, if he reappeared would you consider fitting him with a radio collar to see where he (and other bulls) go? I ask rhetorically because I would assume that darting him to fit a collar would cause considerable stress.


Only exceptionally

Thu, 2008-01-03 17:16 by hcroze

Our policy for a number of years has been to not dart eles unless it is to imobilise so a vet can treat a human induced injury. See my note in the CBOSS forum topic. That said, we have recently obtained funds for the tracking portion of CBOSS, and in fact on 20th December darted Vicky in the VA family and provided her with a new satellite collar. That operation, on which I'll be reporting soon as soon as I do a bit more analysis, was a bit of a bending of he policy, as you will see.

Concerning Ely... now that would be a temptation! I suspect that we'd all be so glad to see him that we'd feel bad about darting him during his Prodigal Son return. But, as you will see in the Vicky story, rules are meant to be interpreted and a 'foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds'.


Ely's sire

Thu, 2008-01-17 06:31 by Pete666

Hi Harvey
Thanks for your thoughts on collaring Ely should he reappear some time. I have one further question for you. Is it known who his sire was at all??


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