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Quilla

Quilla
Qualida

The History of the QB Family

Sat, 2012-08-25 07:40 by cmoss

During the first three years of the Amboseli elephant study we registered most of the families and by the time I set up a permanent camp in the center of the Park in September 1975, I knew 43 different families. There were, however, a few latecomers. In 1976 four families appeared to immigrate in from the east. All (GB, IB, KB, OB) eventually stayed and used the central part of the Park.

Other latecomers appeared from time to time on the western side of Park. They were less habituated to vehicles and often ran or moved rapidly away. Among these near strangers was a family that I assigned the code QB. (There was a small QA family that went extinct early on when their only adult female died.)

I first noted the QBs on January 9, 1976. I photographed a female who looked like Jessica but the rest of the JAs were not there. I also wrote in my field notes: “very nervous group.” I didn’t see them again until November 14, 1976. This time they were in a group of nine. The family appeared to be made up of the following:

Large Female about 35 years
Young F with upcurved left tusk about 12 years old
Young F with even tusks 10-12 years old
Young F with straight tusks 8-10 years old
Young F with two broken tusks 8-10 years old
Young F with broken right tusk 8-10 years old
Young F with deep notch right 8-10 years old
Adolescent F 7-8 years old
Adolescent M 7-8 years old

What was interesting was that they had no calves under the age of seven years old, which meant they had gone through some bad times. Also it was obvious that the large female could not be the mother of all the younger individuals who were so similar in age. Their own mothers must have been killed during the poaching that was occurring in the 1970s.

It was an intriguing family and I was interested in getting to know them better. It was also the beginning of the struggle to find names beginning with Q. I had to make them up and started by naming the matriarch Quilla.

To read the full history of the QBs open the attachment.

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The History of the QB Family.pdf929.82 KB