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An elephant family is called a herd and is led by the oldest #female member of the group. The matriarch holds the knowledge of the herd. She knows the migratory routes, when the seasons change, and also places to find water and vegetation. In a herd, females stay while males leave the group during #adolescence in an effort to find mates and reproduce.
It is important to note, however, that no matter where they are, elephants remain in constant contact with each other through #infrasounds and vibrations, keeping them closely connected.
Elephant families only separate due to death or capture. #Cynthia Moss spent over 40 years studying these animals in the Amboseli National Park, which has given her a thorough knowledge of the African elephant population. Of her many stories, one key event stuck with her.
Poachers had seriously wounded a young female that was part of a herd. And although her mother and another adult elephant tried to #keep her alive, she wasn’t able to survive.
The entire herd stayed there the whole night. They all remained close to the body and one by one slowly left the next morning. The last animal to leave was her mother.
Elephants show a strong interest in the bones of members of their own species. No matter if a long time has passed since the elephants went missing, or they belong to an individual #unrelated to their family. Elephants have often been seen gently manipulating bones with their trunks or the tips of their legs.
Since elephants live in intimate #matriarchal societies, a group is often devastated by the death of one of its members, especially if it’s one of the oldest. Certain families never find their balance again.