The Late Echo’s Family: Pay visits to the carcass frequently

Fri, 2009-05-22 17:16 by ssayialel
Echo's carcass_Enid & Family in the background Elise_Enid's daughter Eleanor_Echo's granddaughter

The EBs are still not together, sometimes Enid and Eleanor come together but only stick for some time. Ella's whereabouts are still unknown, but we hope she is safe and staying out of trouble. It is very dry in the entire ecosystem and most of the elephants are outside the park. Edwina and her calves are not moving far, they are always in Oltukai Orok, where the Elephant Research Camp is situated. Eliot who is "mama" to all orphans, spends most her time with Esprit and Eudora spends most of the time with Elspeth and their calves.

Echo's entire carcass is protected with an electric fence to keep hyenas and jackals away due to their scrounging ways of chewing and scattering the bones all over. This was an idea initiated by KWS-Amboseli and ATE so that at one time Echo's entire skeleton will be intact after when the fleshly tissues will have worn out.

Now for the first time, since an arrangement like this ever made to elephants dying from natural causes in Amboseli National Park, her skeleton will be displayed in a museum in remembrance of the greatest matriarch who provided us with insights into elephant behavior, leadership, communication, social relations and intelligence as long as she ever lived.

For the last two days there was evidence that members of her family group have been visiting the carcass. I probably have been too late to find one on the spot and saw only fresh foot prints. Today I chanced upon Enid (Echo's oldest daughter), Ejac (Enid's first-born son), Elise (Enid's second-born daughter) and her 2008 female calf some meters away. I have reasons to believe that Enid and her family have been making early visits to the carcass every morning. Enid has not yet gotten over the grief of her mother's death, because she seems to be the most distraught. She still shows agitated behavior and has temporal gland secretion. About 100 meters away in North Longinye swamp, Eleanor and her 2009 female calf were feeding—was she probably at the scene (where the carcass is) super-early morning?

Enid later headed to the Emali Bridge swamp and after communicating with Eleanor, a sign that they were probably trying to locate each other, she joined Enid in the same swamp.


Fri, 2010-01-29 08:37 by suguta0

I was so thrilled a few weeks back to discover this website. I thought it would be lovely to follow wonderful Echo and her family on a regular basis.

Then I was saddened to read that Echo had died, but obviously I understand that that is part of the process of life. But then I read of how she was allowed to suffer so much for so long with no one with the kindness to put her out of her pain and let her die in peace.

Now I read that she will not be allowed to rest in peace. Her bones are to be put in a museum and not on the ground she trod for over sixty years. And because of this her family are also being denied their way to find peace through grieving.

This may be science but to me it is not humanity.

I would be thrilled if you can tell me I have got all this wrong and I would apologise with all my heart.

If Echo could have a say

Fri, 2010-01-29 14:33 by Hans

I'm not so sure whether she wouldn't have preferred to be in a museum to raise people's awareness of elephants, rather than quickly rotting away for good in the dirt.

The museum may well be the more peaceful place. We do that even with famous people, for example in Madame Tussaud's wax museum, so why not with a famous elephant?

Echo's skelet

Thu, 2010-01-28 19:45 by Janneke

Is there any news about Echo's skelet and where she will find her last resting place? And how is the family doing?

Memorie of Echo

Wed, 2010-01-27 12:07 by Massago

I also very sad to read that Echo died last year, I only got this information yesterday. I remember the day I met Echo with her family on 18th september 2006. I have filmed a bit with a small camera video. Soon, I'll add a link where you will be able to see the very short movie. It is not a very nice quality but maybe you'll see her bump at the bottom on right side. With good eyes, you will also see her tusks. She was moving in the dust going in the direction of Kilimandjaro.
I wish to go back to Amboseli as soon as possible (I'll be in Kenya on 10th february but only Samburu and Baringo), and maybe to find Ely or other members of her family. Be sure I shall take so many photos...
Thank you for your wonderful work that you share with us. It is so great to follow what you do there.

echo's death

Tue, 2010-01-26 02:50 by janette collins

I have read Katy Payne's book Silent Thunder and now Cynthia Moss's book, both of which wrench at my heart for the future of these wonderful I read from your site that Echo
And I must agree with one of the can it be respectful of this family that so much attention has been given to, and so much knowledge of their complex social and emotional relationships have been learnt..that her family are not being given the compassion they deserve and allowed to touch and grieve over her body..they should be allowed their time with is this precious family empathy and love that you are working toward protecting and preserving..knowing what you know how can you not give her body back to them..


Thu, 2010-01-28 21:11 by Donna

Soila, would you please give an update on the EBs. Who you are seeing in the park, if Echo is still in the same place weathering, who you have not yet seen back in the adjoining areas, etc.? Also, I'm wondering about Uncle Riley and Donna. Have you seen their families and them?

Echo - in a museum - please not

Sun, 2009-08-30 15:31 by LizJones

I am horrified that you should consider putting Echo's skeleton in a museum. It's like putting her in a zoo, confining her. She should, indeed must, be laid to rest in her favourite resting place in her natural habitat. Even though she is dead she should still be in the wild, natural as she has always been - for herself and for her family.

What is happening now with Echos family?

Tue, 2009-06-09 21:25 by Alison1962

Hi, its been a few weeks now and i was wondering if you could give me an update on how the family are doing
Are they still visiting Echo? Have they joined back up together again?, Has a new matriarch been decided?.

So many questions, but having visited them only 1 week after Echos death i really am interested to know.
It was Enid that i was luck enough to get close to and her calfs, is she still mourning as much now?

Also Esprit, the one i really wanted to see, is she still with Elliot and Emily Kate ?
They were deep in the swamp so we couldnt get close.

I really hope they are happier now and getting on with their lifes. I hope the rains have come and the drought is ending.

Thankyou so much, Alison.

Echo's bones

Wed, 2009-06-03 04:39 by Michal G.

I wanted to suggest that perhaps when Echo’s skeleton is ready to be collected, molds could be taken of the bones and replica casts made for display, rather than trying to display the actual bones. Modern museum techniques make exact replicas that are actually more stable and sturdy for display than real bones are. Additionally it gives the option of making multiple copies of the desired objects without damaging the originals. I am sure that there are many institutions around the world that would undertake this project for you with the aim of helping to return the natural skeleton to her family while preserving the use of it for science and education. Then it would be possible to both display her bones and to return them to her family as seems right. There is an increasing emphasis on repatriating aboriginal remains in the case of funerary objects and human remains, it seems to me that extending that cultural respect to animals who seem to display death awareness as elephants do, is not too far a stretch.

Importance of Family

Sat, 2009-05-23 12:21 by Kota Viviers

Isn't it amazing how important family is for the elephants. We as humans can learn a lot from them. I am leaving Wellington NZ tomorrow to head back to South Africa and am leaving behind my only sister, brother in law and nephew. They mean so much to me and I cannot begin to describe the pain I feel in doing so but I have no choice, I have to let go and that is the difficult part. It is so amazing how Echo's family returns to be close to her even in death, it is just so hard to let go of those that is dear to you, but then again they will always be close in your heart

Never stopped amazing us..

Fri, 2009-05-22 21:45 by Anna Martinsson

Thank for the update Soila, every day we think about the family and hoping they stay together and all our hopes is that her family will reunite under the leadership of a new Matriarch, the drought I guess does not help them,.. The TV clips from her death were hard to watch but at the same time gave an even further understanding of how highly regarded she was by all…. What stuck out was the fact they pointed out that she had been roaming the plains of Amboseli as the great matriarch before their independence, what would be for Kenyans such an indicator of the time frame we are talking about. Dear Echo she never stopped to amaze us all! I wonder how old Echo was when she died, we think around 65, are any further DNA test being done to indicate this or even if she was pregnant as could have been a possibility (update last year, June-08) or will these facts be forever unknown? I guess it does not really matter but as I commented once on a post here back in Dec - 2007 (Harvey’s film footage of her and the EB’s) that we just wished Echo and her family would be lumbering along together for ever... thanks again for sharing your observations with us….


Fri, 2009-05-22 17:57 by Pachyderms_Pal

I understand the reasoning for the electric fence but aren't you keeping her family from the normal elephant behavior of touching and being near their deceased mother? They may be there even more than you know, as you said early in the morning, but the electric fence is keeping them from her and greivng as they should be allowed!

Hi pachyderms pal, In reply

Fri, 2009-05-22 18:34 by ssayialel

Hi pachyderms pal,
In reply to your question, everybody involved i.e. the ATE organization and KWS- Amboseli have witness such occasion where elephants have the natural habits of following up on the dead, fetching on the remains and moving them to another location although not in a perfect order entirely, but one would appreciate the respect and honour they display. It always hurt in our hearts to know that we are denying the EBs such privileges but unfortunately to them [although not deservingly] they will be put through this experiment.


Thu, 2010-01-28 02:56 by janette collins

How sad to see their grief but place an experiment first..doesn't that negate all the knowledge learnt and the need for us as humans to show compassion and respect..not only observational scientists? What has become of Echo now, and her familiy how are they coping? Perhaps Ely has received communication from the networking famiies and this is why he has returned....

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