ODILE’s story is a terribly sad one and one not easy to write about or share. Born in the 1960’s, she was part of a family of 16 members living in the Amboseli National Park. In 2004, she went through a tragic experience when her 2-year old male calf was speared by Maasai warriors due to reasons that were never comprehended. Not only did she lose her calf, but also suffered severe head injuries from spears embedded in her forehead when she was found. Odile was immobilised and recovered, but she was never the same after experiencing the tragic loss of her child. Elephants never forget.
In 2008, Odile was found again next to a dying calf and obviously agitated by the presence of Maasais standing at a distance. She got even more agressive when the Kenya Wildlife Service tried to get closer to help the calf. They understood her aggressiveness since the spearing and was constantly blocking the dying calf. She had to abandon the calf later in the evening of the same day after staying with it for the whole night and day. The cause of the death was never identified.
At the end of 2009, after three years without rainfall in Amboseli, animals were dying everywhere: zebras, wildebeest, buffaloes, hippos and elephants with no nutritious grass and little water. Odile, together with other matriarchs Echo, Grace, Isis, Ulla, Xenia, Leticia and Lucia died that year from the draught – and others from poaching.
Source: Elephant Trust