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What a Difference Eight Years Makes: Part II
Recently Cynthia posted a story about seeing Paolo after eight years, and how much males can grow in that time. Once males become independent of their families, they often disappear for a while, which causes us problems when they come back all grown up. We know they must belong to Amboseli families because they're so relaxed with our vehicles, but we have to go back to old photographs to work out who they are.
However, even with old photographs it's not always a straightforward process. Marks on ears can change a lot - holes become torn, or new holes and notches develop. Tusks break, or grow, and can change the form as males become adult and their skulls develop. The pattern of veins on ears doesn't change however, and this is what we look for - sometimes with success. Norah and I were delighted to "rediscover" Vernon from the VA family the other day. Born in December 1994, we managed to identify him from a photograph taken in 2003 when he was just eight or nine years old. As you can see, he's growing up into a handsome bull - although he's still only a teenager.