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Jezebel

Jezebel

Around 1976, near the south of Observation Hill in Amboseli and through the regenerating acacias to the edge of the swamp lived an elephant family called the JAs. This family was a favourite of many of the researchers who have worked on the Amboseli Elephant Research Project, because for 19 years of the study, it was led by the magnificent matriarch Jezebel. She had beautiful, long, elegantly curved tusks, which were exceptional for a female. She died in her late 50s in 1993 and at the time, was one of the oldest elephants in the population.
 
The matriarch also had a sister, Joyce, recognisable by a similar behaviour, appearance and resemblance in the subtle curve of their backs, the way the lower portion of their ears curved in toward their faces, the angle of which they carried their heads and the slightly downward curve of their mouths.

The elephant was younger and supposed to outlive Jezebel to become matriarch, carrying on the elephant legacy. However while Jezebel had a long and happy life, dying of natural causes, Joyce was tragically killed by poachers for her ivory, before she could take on that role.