Swati Thiyagarajan searches for answers to questions about increasing man-elephant conflict and finds that habitat loss and poaching contribute hugely to the social behaviour of wild elephant herds, leading to rampages, abandonment of baby elephants and a slow but sure depleting of numbers.
As is commonly known, people have different personalities, and the structure of human personality can be divided into five factors.
Other species’ behavior also differs between individuals: some are braver, more social, or aggressive than others.
“These kinds of consistent differences in behavior are called personality,” said study lead author Dr. Martin Seltmann, a researcher in the Department of Biology at the University of Turku.
YUNNAN, Southwest China — Yin Shuangquan vividly recalls the chaos on the highway near his home in Mengwang Township last November. A male elephant stomped onto the road and pushed against seven cars after flipping over one vehicle and shattering the windshield of a minibus with its head. “There were passengers on the bus,” Yin recalls. “They were screaming and shouting in terror when the windshield was smashed.”
An elephant’s fear of bees
Elephants are afraid of bees. Let that sink in for a second. The largest animal on land is so terrified of a tiny insect that it will flap its ears, stir up dust and make noises when it hears the buzz of a beehive.
Of course, a bee’s stinger can’t penetrate the thick hide of an elephant. But when bees swarm – and African bees swarm aggressively – hundreds of bees might sting an elephant in its most sensitive areas, the trunk, mouth and eyes. And they hurt.
Can tolerance snap as people and wild elephants come in close contact?
Around eight months ago, Swaminathan was almost at his village of Arangottukulambu, near Palakkad, when he came face to face with an elephant herd and lost his life. Ten days ago, a wild elephant trampled 49-year-old C. Prabhakaran to death in the hamlet of Mundur.