Friday, September 13, 2013

Dadhood, Pachyderm or Otherwise

A couple years ago, I heard a story on one of the “Smarten-up-your-Brain” channels about an elephant game preserve in Africa.

They had been so successful, they were over crowded and needed to send out some elephants to one of the national parks. Naturally they chose helicopter transportation.

Seriously.  Don’t look at me, because I’m thinking a lot of pounds of air-born elephant is not the way move pachyderms.

Anyway, helicopters could do the lift but it turns out the harnesses couldn’t hold the big bull elephants. So quick decision, females and juveniles go, adult males stay.

Something strange started happening at the new place.  Rangers were finding dead rhinos. Their horns were intact and they weren’t killed by gunshot and they ruled out poachers. Out of ideas, they set up surveillance cameras.

Want to guess the culprits?


The juvenile males had formed a marauding pack and would trap and kill the rhinos. This was very unusual behavior for elephants. (If we were talking chimpanzees, then yep juvenile males do form marauding packs and terrorize, well not rhinos, but certainly other chimps and if they find a chimp alone then there is no chimp amnesty.)

Someone brilliant had a thought, What are we missing in our setup that the elephants have in the wild? Ta Da. We don’t have any big bull elephants in the area. 

Harnesses reconstructed and the big boys were flown in. In short order, the marauding pack was disbanded, the juveniles started modeling the behavior of the older males and behavior problem solved.

Now, of course, there couldn’t be any correlation to the human species, could there? 

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

A daddy elephant is not anyone I would mess with. I also bet no daddy elephant let his boy do something questionable so he could be considered the "cool" dad. J