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Elephants in the News

>> Saturday, December 13, 2008

Since I wrote my post on Tuesday about elephant migrations, it seems that elephants have been in the news a bit. Maybe I have a knack for predicting science news trends. I did it with corn, gorillas... what next? Anyway... on to the various articles about elephants.

  • A recent survey study done pertaining to elephants raised in captivity (in zoos) finds that elephants live longer in the wild. This is a bit disconcerting as the reason for zoos is to aid in animal conservation. The average life span of an African elephant in a zoo is a measly 16.9 years compared with 56 years in the wild. If you factor in premature death by poaching, the average life span in the wild is still greater at 35.9 years. It seems having elephants in zoos is actually depleting the elephant population rather than aiding in their conservation. Asian elephants had a more surprising story. Asian elephants in captivity live 18.9 years but those used in the forestry trade in Myanmar live 41.7 years!
  • 2,000 elephants disappeared from Zakouma National Park in Central Africa. This is obviously poacher related. This is really sad and I don't want to depress myself so you can read the article here.
  • Ethiopia opens it dwindling elephant herd to tourists. The herd had been decimated in recent years with an increase of poachers. Opening the herd up to tourism may bring in revenue and aid in decreasing the amount of poachers.
  • A company in New York named Mr. Ellie Pooh, was named Co-Op America's Green Business leader this year. They use recycled elephant dung to make paper and journals. The dung is from Sri Lanka and they hope buy giving money for pooh, they will lower the need for people to poach.
There are lots more articles about elephants in the news, but this should keep you plenty busy for a while. Happy reading!


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