Adapted excerpt from Safina’s upcoming book, Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel, in stores July 14, 2015.
Alison, fifty-one years old, is right—there, in that clump of palms—see? And there is Agatha, forty-four years old. And this one coming closer now is Amelia, also forty-four. Amelia continues approaching until, rather alarmingly, she is looming so hugely in front of our vehicle that I reflexively lean inward. Cynthia Moss leans out and talks to her in soothing tones. Cynthia arrived in Kenya forty years ago, determined to learn the lives of elephants. The first elephant family she saw, she named the “AA” family, and she named one of those elephants Alison. And there she is. Right there, vacuuming up fallen palm fruits. Astonishing.
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