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? as well as the book Echo of the Elephants. In addition she was in many other films, most recently the film about Martyn Colbeck's work called An Eye for An Elephant, and photographs of her have been seen around the world.

I arrived in the US a few days ago to start a fund-raising tour so I was not there for Echo's passing. I'm cancelling my trip and flying back to Kenya tomorrow. I need to be with my staff who are devastated and also to start observing the family to see how they will react to the loss of their matriarch. Echo was the leader of her family for at least 36 years. When we first recorded her in 1973 her family numbered seven. At her death it numbered 40. For all of them, except for her sister Ella, Echo was the only leader they have ever known. The loss will be very disturbing and disrupting for them. For us on the Amboseli Elephant Research Project she has been an invaluable research subject providing us with insights into elephant behavior, leadership, communication, social relations and intelligence. But she was more than that. She was a daily presence, almost a companion to all of us. She gave us joy and filled us with wonder.

you were the best

Tue, 2009-10-06 15:32 by sriya

I am very new to Echo and her family...i hv recentely started to watch her documantery films and i wanted to know more about Echo so i searched in the net and to my surprise she is now no more...i really felt so bad and sorry....i must say she will remain in the hearts of millions and i wish her family the best wishes ..and Cynthia i must thnk u for introducing such a wonderful personality in the wild..........u are the best and i cnt evn imagine hw u and ur team members hv felt ..... ...but as a wel wisher be strong and not only me but evry one who knw Echo wold love to see more about her families ..hw they cope up wit her death ....and hw they move to u and ur team members witout u all we wouldnt hv known Echo so closely...........
God bless our dear Echo.........

Adios bien amiga!

Mon, 2009-07-27 04:58 by KmCHorselover

I'll miss you Echo, you'll always have a place in my heart and i'll never forget you.
For inspiring my love for your fellow elephants and for showing me so many times how intricate and unique every one of God's creations are!

Katie! You are so right!

Wed, 2009-07-29 21:31 by Beta Wolf


You are so right! Every one of God's creatures is intricate and unique!
Sometimes, we as people tend to think that God gave only human beings the
ability to love and grieve. But in reality, it seems that many of His creations
do just that!


Sweet Echo

Fri, 2009-06-12 13:02 by BluAbbeyCat

My heart is still in denial of your passing sweet Echo. I can only express my deepest sorrow and Condolences to Cynthia and all the people of ATE who loved you and all your wonderful family ... As a mom, grandmom and great-grandma you are my hero Echo.. I can only hope to be as loving as you have always been with your family all through your lifetime..always loving,caring..a wise Matriarch..I will miss you ...and I will always love you..You are always in my heart, Sweet Echo... your friend Dolores/ Blu'AbbeyCat

Echo reverberates on...

Mon, 2009-05-18 08:32 by Lesley

I will always remember Echo for:
1. Staying with Ely, trusting that he would stand/giving him a chance.
2. Plotting the rescue and carrying out the retrieval of rambunctious Ebony from "kidnappers."
3. Her sorrow and support for Erin. (I hope Echo is now with Erin in the elephant after life.)
4. Her gorgeous genes, which are evident throughout her tribe.

Two other elephants, captives/rescues from the circus industry, died this week: Ned and Bunny at The Elephant Sanctuary. What is striking is the impact the deaths have had on so many human beings. It is impossible to KNOW elephants and not advocate for their liberty. Circuses and zoos prevent people from really knowing elephants. Scientists in the wild, and people who provide sanctuary provide a means by which the public can learn about elephants.

God Speed Echo.

God bless Cynthia and all the Amboseli researchers, for without you the elephants would be invisible.

End of a Matriarch

Sat, 2009-05-16 12:28 by Kota Viviers

I've just watched the clip on Echo's death and once again am in tears. Just a reminder that there is always an end, but also new beginnings. Echo's life ended, but its also the beginning of a new chapter for the rest of her herd. Let us look forward to what she left behind! To new beginnings!!

Yes Indeed

Sun, 2009-05-17 22:25 by Shuger66

Hi Kota, yes indeed, it still breaks my heart as well but what a life Echo and her family have lived, and she died, not at the hands of a poacher, or entangled in a snare, or stuck in a man-made well, or killed for eating crops or injuring a human. I am thankful that she was with us as long as she was and very curious as to how her family will respond from here. I am looking forward to ATE's research as they move forward with this amazing work, to document the events from this point is so important. Wow, to be able to do what ATE does would be a life worth living!

Yes indeed, new beginnings...


Thu, 2009-05-21 12:08 by Kota Viviers

Hi Noella, must admit I would love to do what ATE does, such commitment. I am seriously thinking of returning to Namibia (country of birth) at least there I can get closer to the elephants and there is always Etosha Game Reserve and then also the dessert elephants, they are also at risk. Would love to get my camera out there. Maybe someday I would be able to visit the elephants of Amboseli until then I can dream..

End of an Era

Thu, 2009-05-14 02:12 by hge

It is so appropriate that a tribute to Echo as Mother’s day special. She truly was a great mother and leader. It is sad to watch her struggling and dying. But I realize that she had a very successful life. Thanks for ATE team for introducing her life and family to us.
Just wondering in the program there are some scenes showing Echo leading her family walking towards the camera. There was another large elephant walking behind Echo, she looked even larger than Echo. Who was that?
The program brought so much memory and I will be watching the Echo series DVD again.


Thu, 2009-05-14 01:27 by Pete666

I've just watched the clip and to be honest I'm nearly in tears here. Yes it's sad but I think it's a moving tribute to Echo and the team in Amboseli that the tv station ran the story.


NTV Story

Wed, 2009-05-13 21:22 by Donna

I am thrilled that Kenya television covered Echo's death. It's wonderful that even as she is dying, Echo is able to be an ambassador for elephants. Very moving. What a great lady!



Mon, 2009-05-11 05:22 by 2colleens

It is really sad to hear of Echo's passing. I have loved her from afar for along time. It is also distressing to hear it took her so long to die. Was their nothing anybody could do so ease her suffering. I hope the family can sort themselves out and I guess we can not put human expectations on them but it would be nice to see them stick together. My thoughts are also with you Cynthia and your team you have done so much work with these wonderful creatures.
God bless you Echo. Rest in Peace.


Thu, 2009-05-07 20:15 by paolo

I was there, and I saw Echo dying, slowly, slowly....slowly. Very sad. Very difficult to explain what are you feeling while watching an old elefant dying in front of you. The worst thing.....she was two meters from the main road. Hundreds of turists stopping and looking at her. She needed two days to pass away, and it was not without pain. She was able only to move the trunk...sometime. To move the legs...sometime.
For two very long days she rotated like a compass, digging a deep hole in the sand. Always with the company of turists and smoking minibus.
Very sad.
Why nobody was helping her to leave us with more dignity? Maybe she deserved it.

Echo's death

Sun, 2009-05-10 10:03 by cmoss

Paolo, I'm sorry you had to watch Echo dying. She collapsed near the road but there was no way to move her without causing her tremendous distress. After she died she was moved to a quiet, lovely spot. She rests in peace there now.

Echo's death

Wed, 2009-05-27 17:38 by clarasvoice

I am no expert, but her death seems to have been very public. could not the cars and tourists beenkept away?
the fact that her family may be frightened by the fence seems to me an experiment not worth doing.
for what purpose? For all who loved Echo ...she belongs to the earth -not in a museum .
I believe she should be remembered in videos and in our hearts, and respect nature enought not to intervene.


Thu, 2009-05-07 15:47 by neeter

I am very sorry to hear of Echo's passing. She will be greatly missed by all. She was a true matriarch!
I have watched the nature's video of Echo and her family many times and cry each time.

Echo's passing

Thu, 2009-05-07 12:41 by sabineghislaine

I am saddened to hear of Echo's passing. I am happy that she was able to live life as free elephant and do what she was meant to do. I love you, Echo.

Sorry Echo has passed away

Thu, 2009-05-07 05:16 by madbushfarm

My girls and I are so sorry Echo has passed away. She was a grand lady. We'll miss her.


Wed, 2009-05-06 17:46 by Donna

Can someone please tell me (and us all) who is acting as matriarch of the EBs?

Echo's sister Ella?

Wed, 2009-05-06 19:33 by Hans

I was also wondering who this may be. Echo's sister Ella comes to mind. But I think we should give the observers more time to answer this question.


Tue, 2009-05-05 19:38 by Mike Dooley

My deepest sympathies to Cynthia and all of the team. I visited Amboseli in June 2005 with a party of Born Free Foundation supporters. We spent a fantastic afternoon with Cynthia and were lucky enough to see Echo and her family, albeit from a distance. Echo will be missed by a vast number of people from all over the world. She was a very special elephant.

Echo's passing

Tue, 2009-05-05 17:44 by skimber

Cynthia and Team. I am so so sorry to hear about the passing of Echo. I have visited Amboseli and am sure I saw Echo with her family there several years ago. She was a beautiful, gracious matriarch. Her passing is a great loss to both her human and elephant family. My thoughts are with you all.


Tue, 2009-05-05 16:40 by niall anderson

Thank you, Cynthia, for informing us of the sad news, and for bringing Echo, her family and her life to us all. She will always be the Queen of Amboseli, immortlised in your films and books. My thoughts are with you all, and with the EBs. It is nice to know tht Echo's genes live on, and that her death was due to natural causes; I do hope that the family copes with this huge upheaval.


Tue, 2009-05-05 08:27 by Janneke

Tears ar not enough....

The first time I learned about Echo and he family was from the first film. She was so graceful and I enjoyed watching all of the films, with happy and sad times. Since that time I wanted to follow her live and luckly I found this website last year, so I could follow all the news. Then this morning I opened the website and was schocked.

Our Echo is gone :((

I tink you where the elephant with the most fans all over the world. I'm proud to say that you where a true Queen in Amboselli.

You will be missed and never forgotten R.I.P.

your fan from Holland, Janneke

I'm so sorry and sad that Echo has passed

Tue, 2009-05-05 03:12 by Lesley

Echo is so special - a queen - and it's heartbreaking that she's gone. She was a role model for me as a human being, to tell you the truth. I learned a lot from Echo and other elephants through your writing and research about what it means to be a human being.

She was a great mother, a wonderful leader, and beautiful too.

I hope her youngest is old enough to cope and the others rally under their new matriarch, whoever that may be.

Please take care of your hearts. Without you, the world would never have known Echo and the countless other elephants we hold dear.

Echo's passing

Mon, 2009-05-04 22:03 by Donna

This is such sad news. My sympathy to the ATE Team. Cynthia, I am so sorry.



Mon, 2009-05-04 21:34 by Jude

Echo's death has reached around the world and affected the hearts of so many of us who share her world vicariously. Vale Echo. Through her gracious acceptance of Cynthia and Mark and the astounding work done in study and documentary our knowledge of Elephant behaviour, lives, family, social relationships is much enriched.

Really sad news - I hope Esprit and all the rest of her family will cope - it is tough enough with the drought, now to lose their Mother and Matriarch is a cruel blow. My thoughts and care are with you all in Amboseli at this difficult and sad time. May she rest in peace.


Mon, 2009-05-04 19:25 by Pete666

Cynthia and Team
My thoughts are with you all and Echo's family in these sad times. I'm saddened to hear about Echo, I often wondered how she and the family were getting on.

R.I.P. Echo we will all miss you.


PS Please keep us posted on how the family get on.


Mon, 2009-05-04 18:51 by Rachel

It's sad news but thanks to all at ATE for giving us access to their work with the Amboseli elephants through this great character who taught us so much. I went to Amboseli to see her - and she was grazing between the airfield and my lodge! RIP and my thoughts are with the team.


Mon, 2009-05-04 16:33 by katherineherzog

My deepest sympathy for her family's loss and the wonderful human beings
closest to her - Cynthia, Soila, Norah, Katito and Robert.
This outstanding matriarch will be remembered with love and with immense gratitude to the human beings
who continue their difficult work ever day for the sake of the elephants' future.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.