Echo: An Elephant to Remember

About

Echo, the remarkable matriarch of a family of elephants in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, was most studied elephant in the world, the subject of several books and documentaries, including two NATURE films. For nearly four decades, elephant expert Cynthia Moss, and award-winning filmmaker Martyn Colbeck were on hand to record the trials and triumphs of Echo and her family, documenting the intense loyalties and deep caring that are so fundamental to all elephants, creating a moving record of a life we all can share.

Echo died of natural causes at the age of 65 in May of 2009, leaving the family she had cared for and guided for so long to face the worst drought ever recorded in Amboseli on their own. It was a final test of the years of Echo’s leadership. Had she taught them all they would need to survive without her? Could her wisdom continue to provide for them even after her death?

With rich archival footage and warm recollections, Moss and Colbeck share their memories of Echo and her family as they follow the fortunes of Echo’s family during the drought. Echo is shown caring for her newborn son, Ely, who overcame the crippling condition he was born with thanks to her patience and extraordinary perseverance. Echo is also shown making a heartbreaking decision to abandon her mortally-wounded daughter, Erin, in order to save Erin’s young calf, Email. Moss and Colbeck have especially fond memories of Echo’s mischievous baby daughter, Ebony, whose playful nature was so endearing to them both. And they marvel as they recall Echo’s rescue of Ebony when she was kidnapped by a rival clan, remembering it as one of the defining moments of her leadership.

Happily, Echo’s legacy lives on. Though other elephant families suffer devastating losses, her family is able to survive the drought, retaining her wisdom for future generations, keeping her memory alive.

Production Credits Print

ECHO: AN ELEPHANT TO REMEMBER

NARRATED BY
CHRIS MORGAN

PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY
MIKE BIRKHEAD

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
MARTYN COLBECK

PHOTOGRAPHY
MIKE CUTHBERT
SIMON WERRY
RICHARD JONES

SOUND RECORDIST
DAVID EDEN

FILM EDITOR
MATT MEECH

COLORIST
PAUL INGVARSSON

DUBBING EDITOR
DAVID YAPP

DUBBING MIXER
TIM WHEELER

SCIENTIFIC CONSULTANT
CYNTHIA MOSS

MUSIC BY
DAVID MITCHAM

SOLO CELLO
KATE GOULD

SCRIPT WRITER
JEREMY EVANS

PRODUCTION MANAGER
CAROLYN NAYLOR

SPECIAL THANKS
KENYA WILDLIFE SERVICE
SAVE THE ELEPHANTS
VIEWFINDERS
AMBOSELI TRUST FOR ELEPHANTS
SOILA SAYIALEL
NORAH NJIRAINI
CATHERINE KATITO SAYIALEL
ROBERT NTAWUASA SAYIALEL

© 2010 Mike Birkhead Associates Ltd

FOR NATURE

SERIES EDITOR
JANET HESS

SUPERVISING PRODUCER
JANICE YOUNG

SENIOR PRODUCER
LAURA METZGER

PRODUCTION MANAGER
JULIE SCHAPIRO THORMAN

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
JAYNE JUN

MANAGER
EILEEN FRAHER

RE-RECORDING MIXER
ED CAMPBELL

HD ONLINE EDITOR
PATRICK KRASS

SERIES PRODUCER
BILL MURPHY

EXECUTIVE IN CHARGE
WILLIAM GRANT

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
FRED KAUFMAN

A Production of Mike Birkhead Associates and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.

This program was produced by THIRTEEN, which is solely responsible for its content.

© 2010 WNET.ORG Properties LLC
All rights reserved

WEB CREDITS

PRODUCER
BIJAN REZVANI

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
CHIE WITT

PRODUCTION ASSISTANCE
SARAH DARRO
SAM EGENDORF

DESIGNER
JOY WEEENG

PAGEBUILDING
BRIAN SANTALONE

TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
BRIAN LEE

CREATIVE DIRECTOR
NICK MILLER

DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL STRATEGY
DAVID HIRMES

SENIOR DIRECTOR
DANIEL B. GREENBERG

WRITERS

for “Introduction”
DANIEL BERNSTEIN

for "Elephant Emotions"
JENETTE RESTIVO

for "Crack the Code of Elephant Communication"
JENETTE RESTIVO