Published on July 29, 2009
Section Nature / Non Human Stories
While it should come as no surprise that the actions of humans have affected and endangered the large, land-based animals whose habitats we share, you might be surprised to learn that our behavior has brought about a serious elephant crackup. Unlike centuries before, where elephants and humans lived in peaceful coexistence, modern day elephants have been fighting back with hostility and violence — crying out for us to pay attention.
Most of us have only seen an elephant up close at the zoo, circus, or — if we’re lucky enough — on a safari vacation. We know them to be large, slow moving creatures, who appear friendly as they perform tricks or eat peanuts while we snap their picture with our digital cameras. But this simplistic view of these amazing creatures masks what a highly intelligent and complex species these mammals really are.
While these massive creatures for the most part, live peaceful co-existent lives with humans across vast stretches of wild lands in Africa, India and parts of Southeast Asia, this isn’t always true. Recently Elephants have been a little more upset than usual and have set out to destroy villages, crops and even killing humans. In addition, researchers have noticed a spike in the number of animal attacks against trainers and staff in zoos and other places of captivity. So much, in fact, that in the mid-1990s a new statistical category known as Human-Elephant Conflict (H.E.C.) was created to monitor the problem.