This is no longer the current, official web site of the trust. It is an older, no longer maintained version, kept only for historic reasons. The current web site is here.

Amboseli Trust for Elephants

The Amboseli Elephant Research Project is the longest study of wild elephants in the world. We work to understand the lives and ensure the future of 1,500 elephants in the Amboseli ecosystem fed by the waters of Kilimanjaro.

Funny Tuskless—Elephant families and social bonds

Mon, 2010-10-25 07:38 by ssayialel
Funny Tuskless Round Ears

An elephant family mainly consists of adult cows, who are either sisters or cousins, with their calves. These families may be as small as a mother with one or two dependent offspring or as large as 50. The size and cohesion of families varies depending upon a combination of factors, including the elephant species or sub-species, individual personalities, the formation and dissolution of individual social bonds, the strength of the matriarch’s leadership, historical events such as deaths of influential individuals, the type of habitat, the season and individual preferences.

Abandoned 18 months old calf rescued

Fri, 2010-10-15 10:56 by bntawuasa
Keeper wrestling the calf The take down

This eighteen months old calf was first discovered on 14th of September when I was out with Katito on field work. I was quite amazed by Katito’s experience in observing Elephants. Even just before I switched off the engine she pointed out to me saying something is not right the youngest calf. We noticed that her skin had the tell tale signs of a malnourished calf and not as playful as one would expect of a young baby. She was in a group totaling seven individuals.

The History of the BB Family

Wed, 2010-10-13 13:46 by cmoss · Forum/category:
Big Tuskless

I first met the BB family on October 20, 1973. My colleague Harvey Croze and I were struck by the family immediately because it was led by a huge, tuskless female who had the biggest ears I have ever seen on an elephant. The family was very distinctive. Not only was there this magnificent, big tuskless, but there was also a second tuskless female, a one-tusked female, and a tuskless calf. It looked like this was going to be very easy family to get know and start collecting data on.

Echo: An Elephant to Remember

Sun, 2010-10-10 16:33 by cmoss

Next Sunday, October 17 at 8pm (ET), a final film about Echo will be shown on PBS channels. The film is a retrospective of Echo's life including her death and the reaction of her family and human friends. I am attaching a press release about the film. I hope you will watch it and tell your friends to watch as well.

Name Erica's Calf

Tue, 2010-09-21 15:57 by cmoss

In both the August and September newsletters I reported on Erica’s calf who was born in March. He was the first, and so far only, calf to be born to the EB (Echo’s) family since the terrible drought of 2009.

New Feature for our Website

Tue, 2010-09-14 13:33 by cmoss

I have today posted my first story for the Family Histories section of the website. The Amboseli Elephant Research Project was started way back in September 1972. In those first few years the main activity of the project was to try to identify each of the adult elephants individually using photographic recognition.

The History of the AA Family

Tue, 2010-09-14 09:50 by cmoss · Forum/category:
Wart Ear at my Window

The AA family holds a very special place in the Amboseli study, because it is the first family that was sighted and photographed on the very first day of the study on September 1, 1972. It has since become one of the best-known families in the population. I have continuous records of its births and deaths, good times and bad times over the past 38 years.


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.

ATE E-Newsletter

Thu, 2010-08-12 10:07 by cmoss

Please sign up for the first issue of our e-newsletter. The sign-up button is in the left column here. We will be producing a newsletter each month and hope you will find this a good way to get information directly to your e-mail address. Let us know what you think.

Review in the Independent, 6 August 2010

Fri, 2010-08-06 13:49 by cmoss

The following is the second half of a TV review that appeared in the Independent: