From the December 2018 magazine.

On the grass plains of Kenya

For a woman in Oregon, sobriety made a lifelong dream of working with elephants come true

I became captivated with elephants when I was 8 years old after I saw an episode of TV’s 60 Minutes. It was about the founder of a wildlife trust who was saving baby elephants in Kenya during the awful poaching crisis of the 1970s and 1980s. She and her crew raised the rescued elephants and then released them back into the wild. I was hooked. For many years, I tracked elephants in that region of Africa any way I could.

I put together a “history” of elephants. It was a detailed look at their lifecycles, from birth to death. I tapped into databases from all sorts of organizations across Africa and began studying their ears (which serve as an elephant “fingerprint”). 

-- Debbie E.

Portland, Oregon

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