News, Media & Education
We spent 8 days in Amboseli between 11th and 18th May with a student, Blake Murray, from Seattle working with us. We experienced several close encounters with elephants, some extremely entertaining, some very sad.
As the rains began in late April Echo took her family (the EBs) to the western side of the park, an area she rarely visits. This move proved fatal for Echo’s eldest daughter, Erin, who in late April was speared twice, high on her right shoulder by Maasai moran (or warriors). Since the EBs were inside the park the most likely reason for the spearing appears to have been a show of manhood. Although Erin (or a family member) was able to remove the spears her wounds were extremely deep and became infected.
By early May, when she was first sighted, she was clearly in intense pain and unable to move more than a few steps at a time. The decision was taken to immobilize her, clean the wound and treat her with antibiotics. Although she appeared to make a comeback for a few days, the infection must have been well advanced and so on 15 May she was immobilized and treated again. The Kenya Wildlife Service crew did a great job on both occasions. To make a long and sad story short – a week or so later it was clear that she couldn’t survive – Erin collapsed, unable to stand again. After deliberation between KWS and AERP it was decided to immobilize her first (M99 the drug used to immobilize elephants contains morphine) and then euthanise her. Thus Erin’s pain and life ended.
She was mother to adult daughters, Edwina (21) and Eleanor (17), juvenile daughters, Echeri (8) and Erica (5) and several independent young males as well as grandmother to three calves, Europa (7), Elaine (4) and Elmo (4). Her youngest surviving calf, “E-mail