The History of the GB and GB2 Families

Mon, 2011-03-28 08:20 by cmoss · Forum/category:
Gloria1976 Gladys1976

The GB family managed to confuse me completely the first time I ever saw them in 1975. I had recently set up a permanent camp in the Ol Tukai Orok woodlands in the center of the Park and had begun to observe the elephants on a full-time basis. During the previous three years I had worked part-time in Amboseli, mostly trying to build up a photographic recognition file for the population. By the time I moved to the camp I felt that I knew the families that used the central areas of the Park fairly well.

In the History of the BB family which I posted in the October newsletter and on our website ( I described how the confusion occurred. The BB family was one of the first families recorded. My colleague Harvey Croze and I first met and photographed the BBs in 1973. At that time the family numbered 12 and included two tusklesses (named Big Tuskless and Bette) and one left one-tusker (Belinda). These characteristics made them very easy to recognize. We referred to them as the “Double Tusklesses”.

It was in November, two months after I set up my camp that I realized there was something odd about the “Double Tusklesses”. They entered the glade to the north of the camp, took one look at the tents and fled in terror. I managed to count that there were 12 animals in the group including two tusklesses and a one-tusker, but their behavior was so unusual that I became suspicious.

It was in January 1976 that I solved the mystery. I came upon the “Double Tusklesses” again when they ran from my vehicle. This time I was able to go around them and approach cautiously from a different direction. I looked at them carefully with binoculars and yes there were two tuskless females and a one-tusked female but something wasn’t right. I looked at the ID photos of the BBs and their one-tusker, Belinda, was a left-one tusker. This was a right one-tusker. And the big tuskless had a hole in her left ear but not in quite the right place for Big Tuskless. She also didn’t have the ridiculously huge ears of the BBs’ Big Tuskless. I had to conclude that these were different individuals.

In the next month I saw these mirror-image Double Tusklesses several more times. They were still frightened of my vehicle but I managed to get some more photos of them. They were definitely an entirely different family, which I eventually called the GBs. I named the two tusklesses Gloria and Gladys and the right one-tusker Grace.

To read the full history of the GBs and GB2s open the attachment.

GB Family History.pdf1.32 MB

An explanation to these incredible behaviors, please.

Thu, 2012-02-23 21:36 by echo2009

In the history of the family GB I have surprised very much the behavior of Echo and theirs trying to bury Gabriella's body and also Grace's attitude when his baby newborn child died. Both behaviors have fascinated me very much and I would like that someone was explaining them to myself.

I wish that Glenda and Gail join again his forces to form the only family.


Mon, 2011-03-28 20:37 by Donna

Thank you, Cynthia. I'm sure each of the family write-ups takes lots of time.

Comment viewing options

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