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More on Echo and family - video
Echo of the Elephants again... In this YouTube video we see Echo, matriarch of the EB family, shepherding half her family over one of the few green grass patches left near the end of this very poor rainfall year.
I was resisting the temptation to post more of Cynthia's and my 'home movie', thinking that folks might get a bit bored, but then I read Sara Cowgill's recent comment, "For me, elephants don't have to be drinking water to be exciting, they don't have to be giving birth, or dying, or copulating, or fighting. I want to see them lumbering along, the sounds they make talking to each other and the breath, the foot pad making contact with the earth, the sounds of the skin rubbing, the tail swishing ...". OK, so here's more 'lumbering along' (more like gliding, in fact) ...
We see Echo and her youngest calf, Esprit, who wanders off to kick some dry stems and test some leaves; we hear a bit of voice over with Cynthia telling me she's named Ella's '07 Eggnog in keeping with this year's beverage name theme for calves; we see a Cattle Egret catching a small snake spooked by Echo's feet; we see the family striking out over a grassless patch, passing a Landrover containing the Animal Planet film-makers with their amazing gyro-stabailized camera, and arriving at the swamp edge for a drink some greener vegetation.
In the shots of Echo (crossed tusks -- unmistakeable) you can see the bump on her upper right rump. I confess I'm responsible for that: when I darted her to give her a radio tracking collar in the 1980s. the dart wound got infected despite lots of antibiotic. She's carried the 'beauty mark' ever since. Sorry, Echo!
If you look carefully, just above the bump, you can see a long, horizontal scrape. That's probably a tusk mark (Cynthia said it looked a bit infected a few days ago), possibly inflicted by one of the large females from the VA family, who sometimes conflict with the EBs for prime grazing.