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Born in 1996 to Keira, Kirty was a member of the so-called KA family, who were first sighted and photographed in 1973 by Cynthia Moss, a pioneering elephant researcher working along Amboseli Trust For Elephants.
Kir’s childhood was relatively peaceful – until 2009, when Amboseli, Kenya, experienced the worst drought in living memory. Nearly 400 elephants died. Among these were 60 adult females of which 27 were matriarchs. Some families suffered severe losses and those were mostly of elderly elephants and the calves born after 2006, often leaving only adolescents and adults alive.
On the other hand, a few families made it through the drought with few deaths. One of these fortunate families was the KAs. Their matriarch Kerry got her family through the drought with no losses at all. And even more amazing the two calves born during 2009 both survived. Kirty made it through the drought and continues to strive, along with the KA family.
Photo and text credit: Cynthia Moss, Amboseli Trust For Elephants, Save the Elephants