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The History of the LC Family
The LC family is another family with a somewhat unusual history. The members originally belonged to the LA family when I first got to know them back in 1975. In those early years I was working out how many families there were in the population and who belonged with whom. As the adult females were photographed and the composition of the groups recorded, the family structures began to emerge. Each of these families was then assigned a letter of the alphabet. Thus the first family photographed became the ‘A’ family, the next the ‘B’ family and so on.
I was working very much part-time in Amboseli and not living there, so it took quite some time to get to know all the families. The ‘L’ family was not recorded until March 23, 1975. That was the first time they were sighted and photographed. Luckily, they were a neat, small self-contained group consisting of seven members:
3 adult females
The largest adult female was very distinctive looking because her tusks were strikingly asymmetrical with her left tusk curving upward. I saw this female and her family over the next three days and got to know them a bit better, well enough to assign them the letter ‘L’.
I set up a permanent research camp in Amboseli in September 1975 and was living there more or less full time. I now saw many of the central families on almost a daily basis. The ‘L’ family was one of the ones seen regularly. However, the original seven were not always all together. There was often an unusual grouping of just youngsters – the 8-10 year old female with three calves. Sometimes they were on their own; sometimes back with the up-curved female. It was intriguing why such a young female would go off on her own with just calves.
During 1976 the family was seen 22 times. By the end of that year I had registered many families, so many that I actually had to start through the alphabet a second time. The A family became AA and the new As became the AB family. The same system was used down the alphabet. Thus the L family became the LAs when it was necessary to assign another family the letter L. The new family became the LBs.
The individual members in the designated families were also named, each getting a name beginning with their family initial. In the LA family I named the big adult female with the up-curved tusk, Lillian. The next adult female was called Lynne. The third adult female had disappeared and so never got named. The 8-10 year old female was named Louise. Eventually the two female calves were called Libby and Lee and the young male was named Accident Prone because he kept getting big gashes out of his ears.
To read the full history open the attachment.