The largest female on the Bai, Gargantua (at left in this photo) stands almost 8 feet at the shoulder — nearly as big as an average male.
This female is unusual in other ways as well: She’s solitary, like a bull, and even though she’s in her 40s, she’s never had a calf. In fact, Turkalo has never seen a male approach Gargantua for sex.
And unlike most females, who often coddle or discipline other elephants’ young, she shows little interest in calves. “You look at her and say, ‘Is she male or female?’” observes Turkalo. “She’s almost hermaphroditic in a way.”