Elephants frequently rest during the course of the day. Calves take advantage of these down times to play. Here the older relative has deliberately lain down to encourage the calves to play. It is one of the most endearing scenes and only happens when the elephants are totally relaxed as they are in Kenya’s Amboseli National park.
Cynthia named them Eclipse and Equinox and they are both still alive today and aged 26. In contrast to the scarcity of twins in Amboseli, in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National park in Uganda, when the population was almost wiped out by heavy poaching during the 1980’s, the incidence of twins was very high. Calves like these two in the same family will spend a great of time together and will actively seek each other out to play.
Qalypso of the QB family rests in the mid-day heat on one of Amboseli’s flat alkaline pans. It always strikes me as odd when the elephants elect to sleep out on an open pan in the middle of the day. Qalypso was so sleepy she allowed me to park close to her and to creep along the ground to get this low angle photograph.
The elephants here are the subject of the longest-running study of wild elephants in the world. Started by Cynthia Moss in 1972, the Amboseli Elephant Research Project strives to create, maintain and make available an unparalleled body of knowledge of the African savannah elephant. Every individual in the population is known and monitored. Each evening the elephants leave the central swamps and head out into the surrounding rangeland to feed and sleep under the cover of darkness