Sad elephant news

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Oct 22nd, 2003, 06:34 PM
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Sad elephant news

Just wanted everyone to know that I got an email tonight from one of Cynthia Moss's researchers at Amboseli.

She told me that the little 3 year old elephant that I saw 9-24-03 with the broken leg had to be euthanized. When the veterinarian came and darted her, he found that she had a dislocated hip and the whole leg from the hip to the toes was numb. She would not have been able to survive this injury so she was shot while she was still under anesthesia.

Dionysis, the 60 year old bull I saw with the injuries caused by the Maasai moran is getting worse every day. Today the researchers looked for him but he was nowhere to be seen. They hope he is not dead.

Please keep your fingers crossed for Dionysis that by some miracle he can survive. Also, know that the little one is at peace at last at the big waterhole in the sky with lots and lots of green grass and many other elephants that have preceded her to care for her.

Jan

Jan
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Oct 22nd, 2003, 11:55 PM
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Oh Jan, how sad, I'm so sorry.
Thanks for updating us.

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Oct 24th, 2003, 04:32 AM
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Jan, thanks for the update. At least the young ellie did not die a painful death and was mercifully taken care of. I am hoping that Dionysis has found a quiet area of the park where he can eat and get sleep to regain his strength. I loved your photos and was especially touched to see how well Echo is doing. I remember the documentary about Echo, and I recalled how seeing Echo struggle to keep up with the herd brought tears to my eyes. Echo is magnificent now! Please keep us abreast of any further news.
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Oct 24th, 2003, 03:57 PM
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Kavey and SusanLynne:

Thanks so much for your notes.

Yes, Echo is something special. I think you might be confusing her with her son Ely who was born "crippled" and couldn't stand for four days. He struggled so hard and finally on the fourth day was able to straighten his legs (which they decided were so bent due to being cramped in the womb). Ely is now a teenager and living away from his family as all young bulls do. He was in Amboseli in January when I was there.

Echo is now about 55 years old, has a two year old calf Emily Kate and was seen to be mated this past year so they know she was in estrus. They don't know whether it is possible for her to have another calf but we'll know in less than two years! Perhaps female elephants don't go through the dreaded change that humans do!

Nevertheless, she is one special "lady" with many children and grandchildren that she has guided over the years. The new movie about Echo will be coming out in the fall of 2004. We'll have to watch for it on The Discovery Channel.

Jan
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Oct 24th, 2003, 08:20 PM
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Jan, you are absolutely right ... I did confuse Echo with Ely. Sorry for the mistake. At 55, Echo looks damn good ... I can only hope I am as stunning as she is at that age!
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Oct 24th, 2003, 08:21 PM
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I didn't mean to imply that 55 is "old." Please don't berate me!!
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Oct 25th, 2003, 11:07 AM
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SuaanLynne:

I would never berate you. How I wish I were looking at 55 again!!

It's so nice hearing from someone who loves these magnificent creatures as I do.

The human species could learn a lot from watching them. While at Satao I saw many families coming to the waterhole. Once in awhile they would all crowd in. At other times one family would approach, see another family already drinking and the family approaching would stand off and wait until their turn. They are so thoughtful and caring.

The camp manager told me he had watched the waterhole several days before I arrived. There was a young baby elephant stuck in the waterhole with only the tip of its trunk protruding above the water line. Apparently the females did not realize he was in trouble. There were several bulls there at the time. Bobby said one bull watched the baby for about a minute, then walked into the water and literally booted the baby up on the bank. We think bulls are not particularly paternal or caring, but in this case he certainly was!

I don't know how often I have watched one ele. gently putting his/her trunk on the back of another in caring/love.

Daphne Sheldrick tells of older orphans being rescued who have seen their mothers killed. WHen she first gets them to the stockades the orphan wants to kill every human in sight. That is when the keepers bring in the other orphans, and almost instantly they calm down the newcomer, and by morning the newcomer is walking with the orphans and their keepers as though they had always belonged to that "family".

Well, I shan't bore you any more with elephant tales; I could go on forever. Just keep in mind that Echo's new movie will be out in the fall of 2004!!
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Oct 25th, 2003, 11:52 AM
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Elephant tales are never boring, Jan, and I agree wholeheartedly that humans can learn a great deal from the magnificent creatures. I think back to our visit to Amboseli last year and watching a matriarch approach our vehicle. She was stunning and was leading her family of 10 or so other ellies. The matriarch stopped about 30 yards from our vehicle and watched us as we watched her. She raised her trunk in the air to smell for danger. And while she was doing this, I made eye contact with her. I saw the thought process in motion, which is more than I can say for some humans I have come across! Sensing we posed no harm, she led her family across the road and in the direction of the Enkongu Narok swamp. As she passed our vehicle, she turned her wise eyes toward us. I will never forget that moment as long as I live because, yet again, she looked directly at me. Tears welled up in my eyes at that moment and I wished her well. Not many animals or people affect me in such a way as that wonderful monarch. Perhaps it was Echo or a member of the "T" family, but whoever it was left an indelible impression on my heart and soul.
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Oct 25th, 2003, 12:24 PM
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SusanLynne:

I know the feeling completely. It is hard not to get emotional when you think of the hardships those ele. families have had to go through over the years with poaching, human encroachment, no food, no water at times - and yet they are still trusting trusting of us humans.

My kids think I am nuts to talk to the eles. when I am videotaping, but the elephants do seem to understand that you mean them no harm. I've seen it again and again when one would be very nervous and even shaking their heads, slapping their ears or even starting to charge your vehicle, and yet when you talk to them they calm right down.

At Satao the beginning of this month when the KWS ranger came to talk to me after his bushwalk he showed me a large segment of ivory tusk he had found that day in the bush. Apparently several bulls had been fighting and one knocked quite a piece of ivory off. The ivory was so smooth and shiney that I could appreciate the beauty of it, and at the same time want to "kill" those who are willing to pay to have elephants killed for it and those who pay for the trinkets that are made from it. I'm not usually an emotional person but I certainly was that day.

Think if I every won the Megabucks I would take most of the money and buy tracts of land in Kanya between the parks so that the elephants could again have the freedom to traverse from one place to another in their search of food and water. It's nice to dream isn't it?
I just feel that the predicament the elephants are in is entirely due to humans, and we humans should start trying to correct our wrongs.
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Oct 25th, 2003, 03:14 PM
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Yes, Jan, it is nice to dream. I recall that you reside in Mass. If you live close to the NH border, try to buy a Powerball ticket. It is up to an estimated $192 million ... you can buy a lot of land in Kenya with that kind of money, in turn doing a lot of good for the wildlife!
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Oct 28th, 2003, 02:32 AM
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I don't find elephants boring either. I find them fascinating - hence we're stopping in Addo for a couple of nights in SA next May and 3 nights in Savuti Camp in Botswana in June. We'll also see eles in lots of other parks but wanted to include some stops specifically to spend as much time with these special creatures as possible.

As I've mentioned, with our new Sky+ subscription it's become easier for me to record every African wildlife documentary going and I am copying these to tapes as I watch them, to allow me to watch them over and over. I've recorded so far, in the weeks that we've had this subscription, almost 2 tapes about African elephants alone.
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Oct 28th, 2003, 03:21 PM
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Kavey:

You're mind kind of lady! I have taped so many elephant programs that soon I'll need new facilities just to keep them. Our county library has quite a few of them, so when I borrow them I tape them so I can watch them again and again. Sometimes you spot things on tape a second time that you didn't notice the first.

On my first safari I didn't even notice that a large bull that was right in front of our vehicle was in musth. It wasn't until I got home and watched the tape for the second time that I noticed the temporal gland tearing and the urine dribbling. We were lucky not to have been overturned, because musth bulls can get very nasty.

One of the doctors I work with will be taking his holiday next month in Thailand (where he is from) and I will make him promise to bring me any interesting stories of the elephants and wildlife there.
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