Qalypso’s story is a heart-breaking one, but as true as the others that inspired Elephant Gin – and its production of a new batch with labels showing Qalypso’s name.

Qalypso was born in 1966 in Kenya near Amboseli, and was part of a herd studied by Cynthia Moss. Amboseli experienced a very bad drought in (1970s and) 1990s, which was the culmination of a number of years of poor rainfall. That drought broke eventually, but it took the females some months before they started reproductive cycling again. Qalypso unfortunately lost four of her five calves, mostly because of this terrible draught.

She did have one calf in 1999, who survived and grew up to be named Qalinda.

Qalypso died together with 4 other elephants in her family in 2009 at the age of 43, when close to 400 elephants lost there lives due another terrible draught coupled with an extreme upsurge in ivory poaching…

The picture shows Qalypso sleeping in the foreground.

Photo copyright: Award-winning wildlife cinematographer and filmmaker Martyn Colbeck, Gallery 2C