In the early morning light, the large gray forms moved slowly, deliberately, and nearly silently along a well-worn path amongst lava boulders and small thorny Balanites trees. Cynthia Moss has studied the elephants in Kenya's Amboseli National Park for over twenty-seven years. Her long-term research has revealed much of what we now know about these complex and intelligent animals. Here she chronicles the lives of the members of the T families led by matriarchs Teresia, Slit Ear, Torn Ear, Tania, and Tuskless. With a new afterword catching up on the families and covering current conservation issues, Moss's story will continue to fascinate animal lovers. Amboseli National Park, near Mt. Kilimanjaro in southern Kenya, is home ground to some 600 elephants; this herd has been relatively free from human interference and was a major focus for field study. Moss, author of Portraits in the Wild, has been involved with the elephants of Amboseli since 1973; she and her colleagues have made a substantial contribution to our knowledge of elephant biology and behavior. Here, she follows one extended family through 13 years of good times and bad times, observing details of their daily lives. The book is organized by year and topic: each chapter begins with a synthesized narrative that introduces a single phase of lifesuch as mating, migration, social behavior, births and calves (this is the first study of elephant newborns and their development)that relates to family history. This is a captivating story of individual animals', rather than the author's, adventures. Moss affirms the old tale about elephants assisting one of their own who is injured or dying; she also reports that they recognize bare and bleached bones of their species. Any reader interested in animals will be captivated. Photos.
- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: University of Chicago Press; New edition edition (15 July 2000)
- Language: English
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