The History of the KA Family

Sat, 2011-10-22 10:14 by cmoss · Forum/category:
Karen on October 5, 1973 FlopEar on October 5, 1973

Harvey Croze and I started the Amboseli Elephant Research Project in September 1972 with the goal of studying one of the few relatively natural populations of elephants remaining in Africa. We chose Amboseli because the elephants were wandering freely over migration routes that they had been using for hundreds of years. They were not fenced or compressed into a protected area and they were not being heavily poached. Another good reason for choosing this population was that it was small enough (600-700) to get to know every animal individually. We wanted to study the life histories of individuals. Therefore, we set out to get recognition photos of first the adults and much later the calves as well.

We worked for the first three years on a part-time basis, both of us actually based in Nairobi with other jobs. On the field trips we would take photographs of all the adults we encountered and then try to figure out who belonged with whom. We knew that elephants lived in female-based families but we didn’t know how many families there were or who made up the families in Amboseli. As we began to work out the composition and felt relatively secure in our designation of a family we gave that family a letter of the alphabet and then named all the adult females with names starting with that letter. Thus the first family we recognized and got good photos of was the AA family.

It was early in the morning on October 5 that we found a group of 13 elephants moving toward the Enkongu Narok swamp. We soon discovered that many of them were adult males who were already independent from their families. After eliminating the males there appeared to be seven members in this family. The oldest and the one we determined was the matriarch was a big, old female we called Flop Ear, because one of her ears flopped over at the top. The other females with her were much younger. There were no small calves, the youngest being about three to four years old. We took as many photos as we could.

To read the full history of the KA family open the attachment.

History of the KA Family.pdf1.74 MB

Very much spirit for Kerry and keira

Sat, 2012-03-31 17:29 by echo2009

This family has suffered painful losses constant. Always I will remember the great matriarch Karen and will not stop being sorry about the unfortunate deaths of Flop Ear, Kay, Katrineka, Kriste and all the babies murdered by the poachers and the warriors Maasai. When they will be conscious of the tragedy that they provoke with his acts?

For all that, it does not surprise me that Cynthia says that Kerry and Keyra are authentic heroines, since terrible moments have happened in his life and nonetheless, they have managed to spend the hard drought of 2009 without losses in his family. An authentic miracle , be still girls like that.


Thu, 2011-12-01 23:09 by kimberlyc

I love them!


Tue, 2011-10-25 15:23 by niall anderson

Many thanks again, Cynthia, for making the time to write another fascinating history, beautifully written with excellent images. It becomes increasingly interesting to compare the fortunes of the various families you have studied over so many years.

Thank you Cynthia

Tue, 2011-10-25 14:38 by Elephant2011

Thank you so much for making the history file - i had a great time reading all about Karen, Kelly, Kurl etc.....

KA Family

Sat, 2011-10-22 13:40 by DFord

Hello Cynthia! Once again you have made a wonderful family history! I love the pics, and the rich text that you always provide!

Thanks so much and can't wait for the L Family History!!!!!!!!

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