Echo, the matriarch of the EB family, our group of primary study, died Sunday 3 May 2009, aged 64 years old. In her memory we below have compiled some images of and vocalizations by this extraordinary and world renown elephant. Echo was the capable leader of her family for at least 36 years.
Echo and her family have been at the core of many discoveries about the nature of elephants as well as the focus of books and films. Some major documentary films by cinematographer Martyn Colbeck have aired around the world, making Echo a household name. On this BBC page from 2011 you will find several video clips from these productions. This clip from Kenya's NTV 9:00 o'clock evening news on Sunday 10th May shows the high regard in which all Kenyans held Echo.
As an icon for wild elephants, Echo has given visitors, viewers and readers enormous pleasure. Echo's legacy will live on - but she will be deeply missed. We feel very privileged to have spent so much time in her company - following her, with our colleagues in the Amboseli Elephant Research Project, for almost half her life.
All photos ©ElephantVoices
You will enjoy the sounds below much more if you have earphones or are connected to a sound system!
|Echo calls Ebony who walks directly to her. (You can hear her foot steps)|
|A greeting between Eleanor, Ella, Echeri and Echo as the former three approach Echo.|
|A greeting between Echo, Enid, Edwina. The former and others had gone through the grid and were waiting on the other side for Edwina. They waited and waited. Finally she came and they greet when she arrives.|
|Echo and Erin are looking for the others; they have gone in a semi-circle. They stop to stop to feed in the palms and then on move again; a call by Echo is followed by a distant answer.|
|Contact-call, Echo; she is standing at Crossing Corner and waiting for the others who are in the swamp.|
|After a long series of contact-calls to Edwina who is still inside the Ol Tukai fence, Echo gives a let’s go rumble and heads off toward Ol Tukai Orok. Eventually Edwina catches up with her.|
|A little greeting between Eliot and Echo. Eliot calls first as she runs over to Echo.|
|A little greeting initiated by Echo. Echo and Enid were standing side by side. Echo turned to Enid and rumbled.|
The film "Echo an Unforgettable Elephant" reflects on the life of a remarkable elephant and discovers what happens to the family, bereft of Echo's leadership for the first time in almost half a century. The film was aired on BBC2 on 5th August 2010, and will be shown on PBS stations (US) 17th October. Find out more at http://www.mikebirkhead.com.