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 important hear leaders and matriarchs Echo, Grace, Isis, Ulla, Xenia, Leticia and Lucia died that year from the draught – and others from poaching.
In 1982, Ottoline was born into the so-called OB family which totalled to 16 members. In 2004 Ottoline’s mum, Odile went through a tragic experience when her 2002 male, [two years old calf] was speared by Maasai warriors in Amboseli National Park due to retaliation for reasons which were never comprehended. Not only did Odile lose her calf, she also suffered severe head injuries from spears embedded in her forehead when she was found. She was immobilized and the two spears were pulled out, the wounds cleaned and injected with antibiotics and vitamins as well. To everyone’s amazement, Odile recovered after a month and it was thought a miracle, but she has never been the same Odile we used to know. Elephants never forget.
Text credit: Amboseli Trust for Elephants
Image credit: Save the elephants