Sun, 2010-08-29 07:27 by cmoss
Winston's Right Winston's Left

One of Amboseli's up-and-coming prime bulls was killed by poachers the day before yesterday. Winston had just turned 30 in January of this year and was regularly coming into musth. It should have been just the beginning of a successful breeding life but he was cut down for his ivory tusks.

I felt particularly close to Winston because he was one of 14 calves I chose for a special study in 1980. I carried out research on mother-calf bonds and calf development on these calves and so I spent hours with them in the first year of their lives.

Winston was one of the easiest adult bulls to keep track of because he had a big tear out of his left ear which made it easy to recognize him. We are all going to miss him.

Another big male was killed a few days before Winston but we haven't been able to identify him. Amboseli is one of the few places in Africa with older males with big tusks. We are very worried about being able to save them. ATE is a research project with only minimum funds to help in the anti-poaching effort, but we are doing everything we can to try to stop this frightening upsurge of elephant poaching.

Winston - Willa's 1980 calf

Fri, 2010-09-17 01:19 by hge

It’s like to put pieces of puzzles together and it’s so fascinating. I just learned from September News letter that Winston was Willa’s 1980 calf. Willa was in the book “Elephant Memories” who mothered Wendy’s 2-year-old orphan little Wendy while she herself didn’t have a calf at the time. I believe Winston was her first survived calf.
It is so sad that Winston was killed at his prime. He was in a beautiful picture posted a couple of years ago with Echo and her youngest baby and an older daughter.
I was wondering out of the 14 babies in the Baby Research Project how many are still alive. Tio didn’t survive the 1984 drought along with his mom. Tuo was killed by poacher in Tanzania in 2002 (somehow I had the impression that many Amboseli elephants were killed there). Maybe the girls do better? Can’t wait for the other family histories but I will be patient. As good work takes time and the History Project is so great.
Thank you so much.


Thu, 2010-09-16 07:43 by suguta0

This is such sad news. How does anyone do that to such a magnificent animal?


Sat, 2010-09-04 04:00 by maryea46

So sad. What a tremendous loss.

It's about time the ivory trade was seriously stopped, by making penalties so harsh, no potential poacher would want to repeat their actions!

RIP Winston.

This breaks my heart!

Wed, 2010-09-01 23:59 by Laura Terán

I am so sad to see another bull killed! Such a waste and a terrible loss.
Pole sana Cynthia.


Wed, 2010-09-01 14:18 by elephantgirlmarie

This just breaks my heart- who could have the nerve to do such a thing?? I think the stockpiles should never have been sold- causing this demand in ivory. Cut off at the prime of his life- just for his teeth!!
I am so sorry for the loss of Winston.

Question about his periods of musth

Mon, 2010-08-30 14:36 by Massago

Hi Cynthia,

Like everybody, I feel very bad getting these news about Winston and the other bull. I fear poaching to increase in future but I wish we'll find solutions to stop it even if we know that it's not possible to control everywhere in Africa.

My question is about Winston and his periods of musth. You write "He was regularly coming into musth". Can you tell me since when he started to show this particular sexual activity and with which frequency ?
If he was in sexual activity more than one time in a year, how long was the duration of these periods ? Did he compete with other bulls ? Then, do you know if Winston mated with a female ?

I'm very interested by sexual activity of bulls so, I'll appreciate so much to get your answers. Thank you.


Tusker poaching

Sun, 2010-08-29 21:24 by Donna

Cynthia, Are these bulls being killed right in the park???????????

Tusker Poaching

Sun, 2010-08-29 19:42 by aat

very sad to hear this.
Together with the news from south africa about the increasing number of rhino poached it is not going the right way.

I am specially interested in the tuskers, I maintain a website about them called Tuskers of Africa
url =

On the website there are some pictures of tuskers in kenya. If you have more info for me don't hesitate to contact me.


Sun, 2010-08-29 15:27 by magpie

So very sad to hear this news. I guess I felt that Amboseli elephants were generally protected from poaching, but
this just shows that safety from harm is a tenuous thing indeed.
What can be done, in fact, to stop it entirely? Is this within the realm of possibility?
Sending love to Cynthia, and all the Amboseli elephants ....

Mag (from San Francisco)


Sun, 2010-08-29 09:31 by Draavig

This is horrible news..... it seems that Amboselli, one of the last great havens for "big bulls" is seriously underthreat! I know from what you have said in the past that historically the fear of the Masai protected the amboselli elephants from poaching, as they did not allow it on their what has happened here Cynthia to cause this situation to change?

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