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Cynthia Moss has studied the elephants in Kenya's Amboseli National Park for over twenty-seven years. Her long-term research has revealed much of what we now know about these complex and intelligent animals. Here she chronicles the lives of the members of the T families led by matriarchs Teresia, Slit Ear, Torn Ear, Tania, and Tuskless. With a new afterword catching up on the families and covering current conservation issues, Moss's story will continue to fascinate animal lovers. "One is soon swept away by this 'Babar' for adults. By the end, one even begins to feel an aversion for people. One wants to curse human civilization and cry out, 'Now God stand up for the elephants!'"-Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times "Moss speaks to the general reader, with charm as well as scientific authority. . . . [An] elegantly written and ingeniously structured account." -Raymond Sokolov, Wall Street Journal "Moss tells the story in a style so conversational . . . that I felt like a privileged visitor riding beside her in her rickety Land-Rover as she showed me around the park." -Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, New York Times Book Review "A prose-poem celebrating a species from which we could learn some moral as well as zoological lessons." - Chicago Tribune

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780226542379
ISBN-10: 0226542378
Format: Paperback
(230mm x 152mm x 26mm)
Pages: 384
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 14-Aug-2000
Country of Publication: United States

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » Elephants can live to the age of 65; today, even with advances in wildlife conversation, few do. The war against ivory poaching has not been worn. More prosaically, on an over-peopled planet, the elephant is running out of space. Yet, written by one of the foremost researchers in the field, this painstaking study of an elephant family in Kenya's Amboseli National Park has much to warm the heart. Presented partly in a diarial format from the animals' point of view. Moss has the abliilty to get inside the heads of these beasts without ever succumbing to the arch sin of anthropomorphism. And if occasionally, as with so many with a passion for their subject, Moss's treatment verges on the heavy, it's redeemed by the memories we like to believe they possess. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » A comprehensive and intimate look at the behavior and social organization of the African elephants of Kenya's Amboseli National Park, as well as a moving account of their struggle for survival. Moss, who's been studying and writing about African mammals for 20 years (Portraits in the Wild: Behavioral Studies of East African Mammals, 1975), here encapsulates the findings from her years of work, dating back to 1972, on the Amboseli Elephant Reseach Project. We follow the daily doings of one extended matriarchal family unit, learning of the strong kinship between relatives, seasonal migratory patterns, reproductive behavior in the wild, birthing and mating rituals, and intricate communication methods. Moss' study encompasses Amboseli's entire elephant population of 650, but by focusing mainly on the 25 or so members of one extended family, she is able to deftly interweave her broad scientific observations with touching emotional responses to the varying fates of the individuals she's come to know and love. Moss' ultimate goal, beyond research, is to help in the conservation of all elephants, and to this end she carefully examines (and offers some possible solutions to) the problems associated with their survival: poaching for ivory, hunting, drought, and the encroachment of argiculture. Enlightening and sensitive, a must for all concerned with the fate of wildlife. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Cynthia Moss

Cynthia F. Moss is a professor of psychology and member of the Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is the coeditor of "Neuroethological Studies on Cognitive and Perceptual Processes."

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The Amboseli Elephants

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