Articles, Stories and Links





Elephant Communication

Elephants can communicate with one another miles apart by making subsonic calls that vibrate the ground, researchers established a few years ago. But now a leading investigator in the field of elephant communications has discovered that elephants receiving the calls monitor the vibrating ground through both their feet and trunks. To read the article, go to National Geographic Blog.

Elephant Wisdom—Interview with Anna Breytenbach by Dominique Koubovec

Tuesday 22nd September 2009 was International Elephant Appreciation Day. It is also the equinox in the Northern Hemisphere representing the first day of autumn and in the Southern Hemisphere depicting the first day of spring. As a tribute to elephants we decided to interview Anna Breytenbach, a professional interspecies communicator, about her experience with African elephants. Her goal, like ours, is to raise awareness and advance the relationship between humans and animals. read more

Elephant-back Safaris

Riding on an elephant’s back does not represent the nature and mysteries of a majestic elephant spirit as marketers would have you believe, rather it is the result of human intervention. Young elephants are usually removed by force from their families, and subjected rigorous training. Do not be fooled into the romanticised sales pitch that the elephants enjoy being put in this position.

Elephant back safaris/rides, walks with elephants and general interaction with these animals is heavily promoted as a tourism attraction in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia. This rapidly growing ‘elephant’ industry in South Africa has increasing numbers of elephants being captured, tamed and trained. These elephant are then supplied to local and international zoos, circuses and elephant back safari operators. At present there at least 112 elephant kept in captivity for commercial use in South Africa. Of the 112 animals in captivity, 92 are used for elephant back safaris/rides, walks or other interactions with humans, 14 (including four Asian elephants) are used for circuses, filming or other entertainment purposes and six are in zoos.

For a full understanding of the issues, see the pdf at www.animalrightsafrica.org.

Elephants Evolve Smaller Tusks Due to Poaching

It appears that in at least one case, evolution is occurring at what seems like jet speed. In the last 150 years, the world’s elephant population has evolved much smaller tusks. See the full story at www.environmentalgraffiti.com.

Wildlife Corridors in India

The World Land Trust (WLT) is working with the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) to safe-guard traditional elephant routes as corridors where the elephants can move safely between National Parks and other protected areas. Learn more at www.worldlandtrust.org.

Elephants in India

India is home to between 50 and 60% of all of Asia’s wild elephants and about 20% of the domesticated elephants, as such, it is of paramount importance for the survival of the species.

Historically and currently the elephant plays a central role in Indian life. Elephants are closely associated with elephants religious and cultural heritage, they have played an important role in the country’s history and remain revered today.

For a full overview, visit www.eleaid.com.

Is Your Ice Cream Bad for Elephants?

The shrinking forest area threatens thousands of animal and plant species, many of them endemic and already endangered. Sumatra’s Tesso Nilo forest, for example, has the highest level of lowland forest plant biodiversity known to science, with over 4,000 plant species recorded so far. It is also home to three per cent of the world’s mammal species, including elephants, rhinos, tigers, and orang-utangs. Forest loss and oil palm plantations are proving a particularly deadly mix for Sumatra’s elephants.

Read about how your consumer choices affect elephants at www.scienceinafrica.co.za.

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"It has always seemed miraculous to me that these colossal animals can move noiselessly through the bush, and are thus able to surround one without warning."
—Joy Adamson in Born Free