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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.

A Surprise in the EB Family

Thu, 2008-06-12 16:21 by cmoss
Emily Kate being pursued by a young male

I flew down to Amboseli on Tuesday, 10 June. The following day I had a report from one of the tour operators that Echo was in oestrus (the time when female elephants are ready to mate with males). I was a little doubtful since Echo is about 60 years old, but it is not unknown for females this old to have calves. Later in the afternoon when I knew the family would be out of the swamp I went out to find them. Some were already out on dry land but Echo was still happily feeding in the swamp. She was separated a bit from the others and only had her youngest calf, Esprit, with her.

Off to join a new family

Thu, 2008-06-05 12:38 by nnjiraini · Forum/category:
Norah and the lost calf with game scouts David Sheldrick crew feeding the lost calf

Not long ago we (the Amboseli Elephant Research Project team) witnessed a baby elephant, stranded and lost on its own, killed by two male lions. The mother of the unfortunate calf was never identified and the assumption was, it's more likely to be a first time mother due to their lack of experience. We have quite a number of cases of lost calves within the Amboseli elephant population. A recent example was on the 27th May as I was out on my normal field work when I received a call from Soila, the project manager, while driving to Nairobi.

Open letter to Safaricom: Comms mast blots Kili view

Tue, 2008-06-03 13:50 by hcroze
Safaricom mast in front of Mawenzi: seen from Osero House Ontawua Hill from Kimana-Amboseli road

Mr. Michael Joseph
CEO, Safaricom Ltd.

Dear Michael,

I just came back from Amboseli a week or so ago; hadn't been for a couple of months.

Sad to report that the perennial vista of the sweep of Kilimanjaro rising from the plain has an appalling blemish: the new Safaricom mast on Ontawua hill.

Animal Planet Filming Completed

Wed, 2008-05-21 07:37 by cmoss

Today was the final day of filming for the Animal Planet series. Martyn Colbeck did some last shots of Soila, Norah, Katito and me on the top of Observation Hill in the middle of the Park.

We are sad to have Martyn leave but mostly relieved that the filming is over. It has been intense. We started in early September so it’s been over eight months. There were a few breaks but with two cameramen, Martyn and Mike Cuthbert, some filming was going on nearly every day. However, that intensity paid off because they both got marvellous footage of elephants and people.

Elephant Baby Boom in Amboseli

Sun, 2008-05-04 08:58 by cmoss
Edwina and her calves

In general in Amboseli calves are born between December and June with a few outliers from July through November. In 2007 only six calves were born in the second half of 2007 with no calves at all born in December which was unusual. It is the third favorite birth month after March and April which have the highest rates.

Echo & Other Elephants DVD

Tue, 2008-04-01 00:55 by msowers · Forum/category:
New Echo DVD

Just received the copy I ordered in the mail today. It's a fantastic collection with all three Echo films and five others. I'm watching "Elephant Nomads of the Namib Desert" now. Amazing to see all those elephants do to survive in those conditions. The DVD is available on Amazon, and I got mine from the Circuit City website, which seemed to be the best price.

Vicky's 1st Quarter 2008

Mon, 2008-03-31 08:41 by hcroze · Forum/category:

Vicky's 1st Quarter
Vicky's 1st Quarter

Vicky of the VA family was given a satellite tracking collar in late December last year. Since then, every two hours, we have received a fix of her position, and, of course, that of her very large 52-strong VA family. She has been remarkably sedentary during the period with a couple of notable exceptions.

A week or so after getting her collar, she left the park for a few kilometres to the south, presumably to get a bit of food variety in the bushed and wooded grasslands there. Then, in mid-February, there was a little rain to the northeast, and the VAs moved some 15 km out of the park. Then, over the very wet Easter weekend, when we wanted to show some donors the collar they contributed to, Vicky and her family raced northeast some 25 km to join a concentration of other eles on the rain-soaked plains. Perversely, the day after the disappointed donors departed, Vicky was back in the park, less than 2 km from Ol Tukai.

Lumpy Tusks shot dead as KWS ranger injured

Wed, 2008-03-19 18:04 by ssayialel · Forum/category:
Lumpy Tusks dead surrounded by locals

On 17th March, 2008, I received a phone call from senior warden Amboseli National Park thinking it was one of our routine call on park issues. I was stunned to hear that a KWS ranger was injured by an elephant when on patrol by foot. Luckily he was with his team and they shot the elephant before he was trampled when he fell down. He was rushed to Loitokitok hospital for first aid then later flown to Nairobi. The Amboseli KWS warden Mr. Bakari confirmed that the elephant was shot and killed.

Amboseli's Elephants Featured in The East African

Mon, 2008-03-17 07:31 by cmoss

Rupi Mangat, an excellent journalist working in Kenya, has published an article on the problems facing Amboseli's elephants. It is on the cover of The East African's magazine section. Rupi interviewed me in Amboseli about 10 days ago.

The East African, 17 March 2008
Amboseli: Dim future for the elephants
AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK’S Elephants are probably the world’s most famous. They are not only the longest studied elephants in the wild but also the longest studied wild mammals. Talk about being doubly famous.

Soila made Honorary Warden

Thu, 2008-03-13 06:16 by hcroze · Forum/category:
Soila Sayialel, Honorary Warden

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) announced last week that it had made Soila Sayialel an Honourary Warden for Amboseli National Park. Soila is Project Manager for the Amboseli Elephant Research Project (AERP). The announcement is a fitting acknowledgment of the tremendous efforts that Soila and her sister teammates, Norah Njiraini and Katito Sayialel, expend to keep the Park a safe ecosystem core for elephants and other wildlife.