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Elephants Demonstrating Shocking Self-Awareness




Ability to recognize selves in the mirror from a 2006 study:

https://www.livescience.com/4272-elephant-awareness-mirrors-humans.html

excerpt:


Elephants can recognize themselves in a mirror, joining only humans, apes and dolphins as animals that possess this kind of self-awareness, researchers now report.

"This would seem to be a trait common to and independently evolved by animals with large, complex brains, complex social lives and known capacities for empathy and altruism, even though the animals all have very different kinds of brains," researcher Diana Reiss, a senior cognitive research scientist at the Wildlife Conservation Society in Brooklyn, N.Y., told LiveScience.

Last edited on Thu Aug 17th, 2017 10:11 pm by sydneyst

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Elephant Thinks Man Is Drowning and Tries to Rescue Him


https://www.google.com/search?q=elephant+thinks+man+is+drowning+&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Last edited on Sat Jun 24th, 2017 05:41 pm by sydneyst

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Elephants Rescue Babe Who Falls into a Pool

http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/elephants-rescue-baby-elephant-zoos-swimming-pool/story?id=48156761

What I like most about this is that it shows how quickly the two female adults were to act and how they instantaneously realized how to get to the baby.  They raced to the shallow end of the pool, taking an indirect path to reach her and then this was how they led her out.  You can also see how they worked together to save her. 

Then of course there is the unaddressed question of why these sentient, social animals were even in zoo in the first place. Elephants belong in the wild or in sanctuaries.

Last edited on Thu Jun 22nd, 2017 11:37 pm by sydneyst

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Mischief, Tantrums and Other Emotions of Young Elephants

https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/html/elephant_emotion.html

excerpt on Olmeg:

OLMEG is a complex character, deeply sensitive and easily wounded. During his Nursery period, being the first and oldest, he basked in the admiration of all those younger, including the next in line, TARU, who was orphaned in Tsavo and is 6 months younger. It is very normal for little bull elephants to indulge in a "hero--worship" on those older, because in childhood rank begins with age and rank is all important in elephant male society.



Olmeg was unquestionably the boss in the Nursery. In fact, I think he thought he was the best and biggest elephant in the world, because having been orphaned so young, he probably would not remember his erstwhile elephant family clearly. Later he and Taru were joined by three other younger bulls, namely Dika from Tsavo, Ndume, who with Malaika, a female, came from the Imenti Forest, and Edo from Amboseli. Later still they were joined in Tsavo by AJOK, from Turkana, a tough little desert elephant who still enjoys the dubious status of "naughtiest".
Tantrums from Olmeg first became a daily occurrence when it was time to begin his weaning period. Suddenly his milk ration was cut to 3 bottles at a sitting, whereas Taru and the others still needed 4. The Keepers were puzzled when Olmeg behaved like a spoilt brat at every feed, and eventually as the trouble-shooter, I was called in. The reason was, of course, that he could count, and that he felt the others were being given preferential treatment at his expense.

A fourth bottle containing just water was added to the three so that the line-up was the same for all, and thereafter the matter was resolved to everyone's satisfaction. It is very important always to treat each elephant exactly the same; never to give one something another cannot have, because it will be noticed  and remembered.



Last edited on Tue Apr 1st, 2014 11:45 pm by sydneyst

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Elephants Are Talking and Singing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbuB7nw5a3A

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Study Shows Elephant Abilities at Cooperative Problem Solving

see:http://news.discovery.com/animals/elephants-intelligence-test-110307.html



enlarge
A total of 12 male and female elephants from the Thai Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang, Thailand, participated. Click to enlarge this image.
Joshua Plotnik


 
An experiment reveals that elephants not only cooperate, but that they understand the logic behind teamwork.





    Elephants recently aced a test of their intelligence and ability to cooperate, with two of them even figuring out ways that the researchers hadn't previously considered to obtain food rewards.



The study, published in the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, highlights not only the intelligence of individual elephants, but also the ability of these animals to cooperate and understand the value of teamwork.





An experiment reveals that elephants not only cooperate, but that they understand the logic behind teamwork.
  • The researchers positioned a sliding table, holding enticing red bowls full of yummy corn, some distance away from a volleyball net. A rope was tied around the table such that the table would only move if two elephants working together pulled on the dangling rope ends. If just one elephant pulled, the rope would unravel. To get to the front of the volleyball net, the elephants had to walk down two separate, roped-off lanes.

    A total of 12 male and female elephants from the Thai Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang, Thailand, participated. It's estimated that fewer than 2,500 of these animals are left in the Thai jungle, so conservation efforts now are critical.

    After quickly learning that the corn-on-the-table task could not be successfully completed solo, elephants would wait up to 45 seconds for the second "partner" elephant to show up. If the researchers did not release this second elephant, the first one basically looked around as if to say: "You've got to be kidding. It takes two to do this." In most cases, the elephants got the corn.

    Two elephants, named Neua Un and JoJo, even figured out how to outwit the researchers.

    "We were pleasantly surprised to see the youngest elephant, Neua Un, use her foot to hold the rope so that her partner had to do all the work," Plotnik said. "I hadn't thought about this beforehand, and Neua Un seemed to figure it out by chance, but it speaks volumes to the flexibility of elephant behavior that she was able to figure this out and stick to it."

    The other "cheater," JoJo, didn't even bother to walk up to the volleyball net unless his partner, Wanalee, was released.

    "Perhaps he had learned that if he approached the rope without her, he'd fail," Plotnik said, adding that such advanced learning, problem-solving, and cooperation are rare in the animal kingdom. Other animals clearly engage in teamwork, but he thinks they are "pre-programmed for it," unlike elephants that seem to understand the full process.

    Animal experts from around the world are praising the new research. Nicola Clayton, a professor of comparative cognition at the University of Cambridge; Diana Reiss, a professor of psychology at Hunter College; and Satoshi Hirata of Japan's Great Ape Research Institute, all told Discovery News they agree with the conclusions.

    "This is the first experimental evidence for learned cooperative behavior in this socially sophisticated species," Reiss noted. Clayton said the findings support the theory "that cognitive abilities evolved independently in animals that are as very distantly related from us as elephants and crows."

    Hirata was "amazed" when he first saw the videos of the elephant experiments.

    "We tend to think that elephants and humans are greatly different," Hirata said, "but the study results show that we share some social mind skills with elephants."

    "Elephant sociality is very complex," lead author Joshua Plotnik told Discovery News. "Social groups are made up of matriarchal herds (an older female is in charge), and varying levels of relatedness among members. Cooperation in elephants was most likely necessary in a context of communal care for, and protection of, young."
  • "In the wild, there are fascinating anecdotes of elephants working together to lift or help fallen members, and forming clusters to protect younger elephants," added Plotnik, a Cambridge University researcher who is also head of research at Thailand's Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation.

Last edited on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 04:52 pm by sydneyst

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How Elephants Communicate
from wikipedia



A young elephant in Zimbabwe.

Communication Elephants make a number of sounds when communicating. Elephants are famous for their trumpet calls, which are made when the animal blows through its nostrils. Trumpeting is usually made during excitement. Its use varies from startlement to a cry of help to rage. Elephants also make rumbling growls when greeting each other. The growl becomes a bellow when the mouth is open and a bellow becomes a moan when prolonged. This can escalate with a roar when threatening another elephant or another animal.

Elephants can communicate over long distances by producing and receiving low-frequency sound (infrasound), a sub-sonic rumbling, which can travel in the air and through the ground much farther than higher frequencies. These calls range in frequency from 15–35 Hz and can be as loud as 117 dB, allowing communication for many kilometres, with a possible maximum range of around 10 km.[50] This sound can be felt by the sensitive skin of an elephant's feet and trunk, which pick up the resonant vibrations much as the flat skin on the head of a drum.

To listen attentively, every member of the herd will lift one foreleg from the ground, and face the source of the sound, or often lay its trunk on the ground. The lifting presumably increases the ground contact and sensitivity of the remaining legs. This ability is thought also to aid their navigation by use of external sources of infrasound. Discovery of this new aspect of elephant social communication and perception came with breakthroughs in audio technology, which can pick up frequencies outside the range of the human ear.

 Pioneering research in elephant infrasound communication was done by Katy Payne, of the Elephant Listening Project,[51] and is detailed in her book Silent Thunder. Though this research is still in its infancy, it is helping to solve many mysteries, such as how elephants can find distant potential mates, and how social groups are able to coordinate their movements over extensive range.[50] Joyce Poole has also begun decoding elephant utterances that have been recorded over many years of observation, hoping to create a lexicon based on a systematic catalogue of elephant sounds.[52]

Last edited on Mon Dec 20th, 2010 01:05 pm by sydneyst

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Video Highlights Research on Elephant Communication: Elies Make Use of Drum-like Feet

 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKvChyW271k&NR=1

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PBS Discusses Echo's Family and Elephant Society

excerpts:
Elephant families like Echo’s EB family are matriarchal societies. Within this structure, the matriarch, or lead female, rules over a multi-generational family of 6 to 12 members, most of which are her offspring, her sisters and their offspring.

In Echo’s family, her sister Ella and daughters, Enid and Eliot help her keep the family in order along with her nieces, Emma and Eudora, her granddaughters, Edwina and Eleanor, and great-niece, Elspeth. Sadly, as the film documents, Erin, Echo’s daughter, was speared by humans and died.

A tight-knit family like the EB works very cooperatively. They feed, rest, and move as one unit. Together they defend the family, search for food and care for offspring. Closely-related females will even cross suckle each other’s calves and some females will lactate indefinitely, taking on a wet nurse role in the family. Enid, Echo’s oldest daughter, has a natural mothering instinct and love for calves. She was an allomother, or babysitter, to her younger brother, Ely.


Echo’s Family Tree: Click to view larger. Courtesy of the Amboseli Elephant Research Project

As tight-knit as they are, if an elephant family gets too large, it can split in two. This actually benefits both families as each can forage for resources more effectively if they take on different territories. Typically, such a split would take place between cousins, and usually not sisters or mothers and daughters. These split families, or “bond groups” can average 28 related elephants in 2 to 3 family units. The related groups will continue to associate and occupy the same home range, staying within a mile of each other and keeping in touch through rumbling calls.

Though all members of the family are essential for the group’s success, it is the mighty matriarch who assumes the most critical role.

Typically the oldest and largest female member of the family, it is not uncommon for the matriarch to be a close relation to the previous matriarch. To succeed in her role, the matriarch brings years of experience and natural skills at leading her family and keeping all of its members together. She also has a sharpened memory of places and individuals. The adage that an elephant never forgets has some truth to it. An old female can remember where her mother or grandmother took her for water during a drought 30 years earlier, the sort of historical information that can save a herd during hard times.


Matriarchs are charged with making decisions that ensure the family’s safety, health and survival. Tapping into her years of wisdom and experience, she decides when and where to feed, when to move along, when to fight and how. Her influence is so great that if a matriarch is shot by poachers, the herd will likely remain by their fallen leader and be shot as well. In the case of Echo and her famous EB family, Echo’s regularity and as Martyn Colbeck explains, predictability may have saved the lives of the family members. During the 1970s and 1980s, the area outside of the park had a dark history of poaching of elephants traveling in large groups. Echo’s insistence on keeping her family within the range of Amboseli Park kept them safe from poachers. Deferring to the experience of a wiser and older member and forming nearly unbreakable bonds allows for the exchange of critical survival skills to the next generation.

see: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/unforgettable-elephants/echos-family-tree/4488/

Last edited on Sun Jun 14th, 2009 07:00 am by sydneyst

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Research On Elephant Abilities to Pick Up Vibrations

see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKvChyW271k&NR=1

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CBS to Air Follow-Up on Tarra and Bella on May 29

The Elephant Sancturary reports that CBS Evening News has returned to the sanctuary for a follow-up story on Tarra and Bella.  It will air on Friday May 29 during the CBS Evening News, then again on CBS Sunday Morning,  May 31.

Last edited on Sun May 24th, 2009 07:05 pm by sydneyst

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Background Story on Tarra and Bella from The Elephant Sanctuary:

"Bella Always Guarded Large Noisy Things"

excerpts:



Hohenwald, TN (February 12, 2009)

Tarra was born in Burma in 1974. Shortly after Tarra's arrival in the US, the Asian elephant was declared an endangered species, and all future importation of Asian elephants into America was halted. For the next two decades, Tarra traveled throughout the world entertaining audiences in circus, amusement parks, zoos, on television, and in motion pictures with Carol Buckley.

On March 3, 1995, Tarra’s growing disenchantment with an entertainment lifestyle inspired the creation of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee to rescue old, sick and needy elephants. While she may not be aware of her influence, the Sanctuary has now grown to become the largest of its kind in the nation. In 2002, Tarra again entered the spotlight as the subject of the children’s book “Travels with Tarra” that told the story of her life, written by Carol Buckley.

Bella, the canine half of this odd couple was found abandoned on some newly purchased Sanctuary land, apparently guarding a bulldozer. Bella continued to show her propensity for guarding large “noisy” things, as she then fixated on a 4-wheeler and finally on Tarra. Tarra was ecstatic and the two became inseparable.  Bella finds shelter from the heat under Tarra’s ample belly, and they share a stall in the barn with Bella sleeping on a pile of hay. In April of 2007 Bella suffered a spinal injury chasing wildlife in the habitat and spent several weeks immobile in the barn office.  In the second week of Bella’s recovery, Tarra returned to the barn and uncharacteristically stood silently under the office/recovery ward balcony window.  Caregivers picked up Bella and took her to where Tarra waited, and their reunion was sweet and respectful. This daily reunion took place over the next several days until Bella was able to return to the habitat with Tarra.

To find out more about the plight of captive elephants, and to monitor the progress of Tarra and Bella and all the residents of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee please visit our website at http://www.elephants.com.    

Last edited on Fri Jun 12th, 2009 09:24 am by sydneyst

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Misty's Adventures at the Elephant Sancturay

                         (video)

                This is one of our favorites.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmC_nLOr9R8&feature=channel

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Learn About Elephants from the Elephant Sanctuary

 

This terrific lesson on elephants is available free and is something grade school and middle school teachers might want to consider.

http://www.elephants.com/pdf/elepcur4_8.pdf

Last edited on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 04:25 pm by sydneyst

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How Elephants Benefit an Ecosystem

http://www.Bagheer.com describes the many beneficial effects of wild elephants on an ecosystem. 


Elephants are considered a keystone species in the African landscape. They pull down trees, break up bushes, create salt licks, dig waterholes, and forge trails. Other animals, including humans, like the pygmies of the Central African Republic, depend on the openings elephants create in the forest and brush and in the waterholes they dig.


Even elephant droppings are important to the environment. Baboons and birds pick through dung for undigested seeds and nuts, and dung beetles reproduce in these deposits. The nutrient-rich manure replenishes depleted soil. Finally, it is a vehicle for seed dispersal. Some seeds will not germinate unless they have passed through an elephant's digestive system.



photo: http://www.elephantvoices.com

Last edited on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 04:26 pm by sydneyst

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Transcript of Video on Tarra and Bella

Narrator:

When elephants retire, many head for the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tenn. They arrive one by one, but they tend to live out their lives two-by-two.

Carol Buckley:

"Every elephant that comes here searches out someone that she then spends most all of her time with," says sanctuary co-founder Carol Buckley.

It's like having a best girlfriend, Buckley Somebody they can relate to, they have something in common with."

Narrator:  Debbie has Ronnie. Misty can't live without Dulary.

Those are pachyderm-pachyderm pairs. But perhaps the closest friends of all are Tarra and Bella.

That would be Tarra the 8,700 pound Asian elephant. And Bella. The dog.

Carol: "This is her friend, (scratching Bella's tummy) Her friend just happens to be a dog and not an elephant.

Bella knows she's not an elephant. Tarra knows she's not a dog, But that's not a problem for them.

Narrator: Bella is one of more than a dozen stray dogs that have found a home at the sanctuary. Most want nothing to do with the elephants and vice versa. But not this odd couple.

Carol: "When it's time to eat they both eat together. They drink together. They sleep together. They play together."

Narrator: Tarra and Bella have been close for years - but no one really knew how close they were until recently. A few months ago Bella suffered a spinal cord injury. She couldn't move her legs, couldn't even wag her tail. For three weeks the dog lay motionless up in the sanctuary office.

And for three weeks the elephant held vigil: 2,700 acres to roam free, and Tarra just stood in the corner, beside a gate, right outside that sanctuary office.

Carol: "She just stood outside the balcony - just stood there and waited, She was concerned about her friend."

Narrator: Then one day, sanctuary co-founder Scott Blais carried Bella onto the balcony so she and Tarra could at least see each other.

Carol: "Bella's tail started wagging. And we had no choice but bring Bella down to see Tarra." 

Narrator: They visited like that every day until Tarra could walk. Today, their love  and trust - is stronger than ever. Bella even lets Tarra pet her tummy - with the bottom of her enormous foot.

They harbor no fears, no secrets, no prejudices. Just two living creatures who somehow managed to look past their immense differences.

Last edited on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 08:09 am by sydneyst

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Rare Footage on Elephant Behavior

Wildearth has produced a rare video showing mock charges by a baby elephant/

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpaHznSiAoA&feature=related


Webearth is a new and substantial site featuring live-cam footage of animals on the Djuma Game Reserve in Africa.
http://www.wildearth.tv/home





See Lighthouse for stories about elephants at sanctuaries and Sheldrick Reserve:

 http://www.sydneysthumb.com/forums/edit_post.php?id=185



Last edited on Sun Feb 22nd, 2009 08:17 pm by sydneyst

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More on Bella and Tarra and the Friendships between Dogs and Elephants 

Visit the The Bark website below to learn more about how the  friendship developed between Tarra and Bella. The article describes how Bella interacts with other elephants at the reserve and describes other friendships between dogs and elephants, including the one between Zula and the lab, Nemo.

highlights:

Tarra and Bella even swim together. When Tarra enters the water, Bella is right behind her and swims in circles around her. Tarra also seems intent on having others love Bella the way she does.  On occasion she will take Carol Buckley’s hand with her trunk and carefully guide it over to Bella.


Zula like Tarra is very careful of her steps and mindful not to frighten away the orphan dogs.  Other elephants at the reserve have shown acceptance of the dogs. 
 


http://www.thebark.com/content/dogs-are-elephant%E2%80%99s-best-friends?page=2





photo from The Bark:
Zula (elephant) and her friend, the black lab, Nemo. 


Last edited on Tue Jan 27th, 2009 05:43 pm by sydneyst

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More Video of Tarra and Bella

See this additional footage provided by the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee.  

our favorite:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAN5nf04L2s

also http://www.youtube.com/elephantsanctuarytn 

photo: Malanie Steedman, Christian Science Monitor

 

Last edited on Sat Mar 13th, 2010 09:36 pm by sydneyst

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Story of Special Elephant Friendship with a Dog 

While most of the other orphan dogs on the grounds at the Tennesse Elephant Sanctuary steered clear of the elephants, one dog, Bella, was unafraid and became a close friend of the elderly female elephant, Tarra. 

For some time now, the two have been nearly inseparable friends: they eat and drink together; they sleep together; they even play with one another.  And Tarra is ever so careful of any misstep. 

The story has now been told in this  unforgettable TV short presented on CBS This Morning and also captured on YouTube
.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjyb0t5Jm44

Tarra pictured at Hohenwald in moment without Bella.(photo: Elephant Sanctuary)

original video, better resolution but without sound: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/01/02/assignment_america/main4696340.shtml










Bella and Tarra (CBS News)

visit http://www.theelephantsanctuary.com for more information about this great rescue program.  

Last edited on Sat Mar 13th, 2010 09:37 pm by sydneyst

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Amazing Emotionality and Consciousness of Elephants

Making reference to the film Unforgettable Elephants, PBS offers a discussion of the high emotionality of elephants:

go to http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/unforgettable/emotions.html

excerpts with one or two additons:

Elephants, the largest land animals on the planet, are among the most exuberantly expressive of creatures.

photo: Mother Jones

Joy and Playfulness

In the wild, joy is an emotion that elephants have no shame in showing. They express their happiness and joy when they are amongst their loved ones-family and friends. Playing games and greeting friends or family members all elicit displays of joy.

But the one event that stirs a level of elephant happiness beyond compare is the birth of a baby elephant. (this is demonstrated in the short video in the previous post)

Joy and Reunion

Another highly emotional occasion in an elephant's life is an elephant reunion.  During the extraordinary event, the elephants about to be united begin calling each other from a quarter a mile away. As they get closer, their pace quickens. Their excitement visibly flows as fluid from their temporal glands streams down the sides of their faces. Eventually, the elephants make a run towards each other, screaming and trumpeting the whole time. When they finally make contact, they form a loud, rumbling mass of flapping ears, clicked tusks and entwined trunks. The two leaning on each other, rubbing each other, spinning around, even defecating, and urinating (for this is what elephants do when they are experiencing sheer delight). With heads held high, the reunited pair fill the air with a symphony of trumpets, rumbles, screams, and roars. Bliss.

Love

There is no greater love in elephant society than the maternal kind...The mother often touches her child with trunk and legs, helping it to its feet with one foot and her trunk. She carries it over obstacles and hauls it out of pits or ravines. She pushes it under her to protect it from predators or hot sun. She bathes it, using her trunk to spray water over it and then to scrub it gently. The mother steers her calf by grasping its tail with her trunk, and the calf follows, holding its mother's tail. When the calf squeals in distress, its mother and others rush to its protection immediately. 

Grief

One of the most moving displays of elephant emotion is the grieving process. Elephants remember and mourn loved ones, even many years after their death. When an elephant walks past a place that a loved one died he or she will stop and take a silent pause that can last several minutes. While standing over the remains, the elephant may touch the bones of the dead elephant (not the bones of any other species), smelling them, turning them over and caressing the bones with their trunk. Researchers don't quite understand the reason for this behavior.

Rage and Stress

Terror, rage and stress, unfortunately, are also commonplace in the elephant repertoire of emotions. Terror afflicts baby African elephants who wake up screaming in the middle of the night after they have witnessed their families murdered and poached--a type of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The ongoing competition between elephants and humans for available land and resources is leading to ever more unfortunate and often deadly consequences.

Human activity does more than put a stress on elephants to find resources. It can often disrupt the complex and delicate web of familial and societal relations that are so important in elephant society. Calves are carefully protected and guarded by members of the matriarchal elephant family. Any perception of danger triggers a violent reaction from the matriarch and, subsequently, the entire family. The extremes a family will go to protect a vulnerable new calf are reported in the news stories as fits of unprovoked "elephant rage." Charging a village, storming into huts where harvested crop is stored, plundering fields and, if disturbed, turning violent are some of the instances reported by the media.

Compassion/Altruism

In UNFORGETTABLE ELEPHANTS, viewers witnessed a desperate mother who just gave birth to a premature calf. The mother and several other females refused to abandon the baby, even in its desperate state.... Observers noted that one African herd always traveled slowly because one of its members had never recovered from a broken leg. And in another case, a park warden reported a herd that traveled slowly because one female was carrying around a dead calf.

One perplexing report was of an adult elephant making repeated attempt to help a baby rhinoceros stuck in the mud. She continued to try to save the baby rhino despite the fact that its mother charged her each time. Risking her life for the sake of an animal that is not her own, not related to her, or even her own species is remakably altruistic in nature.

Fidelity

JC: For me the most striking scenes in Unforgettable Elephants is the response of Echo's female tribe to the kidnapping of Ebony.  Somehow Echo's organizes a synchronized rush into the opposing herd, in the process surrounding Ebony and retreating with her in a protective pocket.  Equally amazing is the fact that it is a measured response.  No elephant was even hurt.  

Last edited on Thu Jan 1st, 2009 12:39 pm by sydneyst

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Colbeck Films Amboseli Elephants: Nature PBS Special

A short video excerpts from the PBS video by Mrtyn Colbeck showing the birth of a baby  to the matriarch of a tribe of female elephants in the Serengheti.   This powerful video demonstrates the great joy and emotion of the group as well as their nurturing and protective behavior.   http://video.aol.com/video-detail/nature-unforgettable-elephants-elephant-is-born-pbs/432633088

Last edited on Thu Jan 1st, 2009 12:49 pm by sydneyst

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Elephant Abilities Described in Detail

http://www.elephantvoices.org describes the following abilities of elephants: 
  • Elephants have very large and complex brains. At an average of 4.8 kg., the elephant brain is the largest among living and extinct terrestrial mammals.  The capacity for data storage in the elephant brain is about three times larger than in the human brain.                      
  • They accumulate and retain social and ecological knowledge, remembering the scents and voices of scores of other individuals and places for decades.
  • Elephants are able to make subtle discriminations between predators, even between different groups of humans, showing that they comprehend the different levels of threat each poses.
  • The behavior of elephants both in the wild and in captivity suggests that elephants are able to use their long-term memories to "keep score" and to extract "revenge" for wrongs done.
  • Elephants can discriminate between the bones of elephants and those of other animals, and respond to the bones of elephants with special contemplation.
  • They are self-aware.
  • Elephants are renowned for their memory, intelligence, and sociality, and, as with humans, these traits make them particularly vulnerable to stress and to trauma and its longer-term psychological consequences.
  • Elephants produce a wide range of vocalizations, many of which contain frequencies below the level of human hearing. Elephants use some of these powerful low frequency calls to communicate with other elephants over long-distances.
  • Elephants can also detect the vocalizations of their companions seismically. When an elephant vocalizes an exact replica of this signal propagates separately in the ground. Elephants are able to discriminate between these vocalizations through their sensitive feet. The can detect earth tremors, thunderstorms and the hoof beats of distant animals in the same manner.
  • Elephants have an extraordinary sense of smell, which is said to be many times more discriminating than that of a bloodhound.
  • Elephants are significant contributors to tourism revenue in many countries in Africa and Asia.

Last edited on Tue Dec 30th, 2008 03:19 am by sydneyst




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