10 November 2006

Elephants

Content Love Knowles brings us an incredibly fascinating article from the New York Times about elephants. There's something sort of giggle-inducing about it ...
In fact, these attacks have become so commonplace that a new statistical category, known as Human-Elephant Conflict, or H.E.C., was created by elephant researchers in the mid-1990’s to monitor the problem.
... but it's ultimately very sad ...
Decades of poaching and culling and habitat loss, they claim, have so disrupted the intricate web of familial and societal relations by which young elephants have traditionally been raised in the wild, and by which established elephant herds are governed, that what we are now witnessing is nothing less than a precipitous collapse of elephant culture.

It has long been apparent that every large, land-based animal on this planet is ultimately fighting a losing battle with humankind. And yet entirely befitting of an animal with such a highly developed sensibility, a deep-rooted sense of family and, yes, such a good long-term memory, the elephant is not going out quietly. It is not leaving without making some kind of statement, one to which scientists from a variety of disciplines, including human psychology, are now beginning to pay close attention.

I have a bigoted preference for my own species, but it's hard not to root for the elephants in Human-Elephant Conflict.

1 comment:

Willa said...

Honestly, if it came down to whether I'd save an elephant or a person, my prayer would be for a swift and merciful death for the person.

Okay, maybe not. But honestly? I don't know.