The Dark Side of Elephants

Ivan Seeking

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Did anyone watch this?
http://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/front_new/watch/default.asp?mode=program&tdatetime=11%2F2%2F2005+19%3A30+PM [Broken]

It seems that wild elephants are gathering in groups as large as 100 strong to attack villages in India for not only food, but some believe with the intent to kill people. But the story gets even more interesting... There were a few amazing claims made wrt the intelligence and intent of the attackers. It is said that one elephant even learned to knock on the front door of a house, and when the occupant to answer he or she is grabbed and killed. One expert states that the elephants know exactly what they are doing.
 
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Evo

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Ivan Seeking said:
Did anyone watch this?
http://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/front_new/watch/default.asp?mode=program&tdatetime=11%2F2%2F2005+19%3A30+PM [Broken]
It seems that wild elephants are gathering in groups as large as 100 strong to attack villages in India for not only food, but some believe with the intent to kill people. But the story gets even more interesting... There were a few amazing claims made wrt the intelligence and intent of the attackers. It is said that one elephant even learned to knock on the front door of a house, and when the occupant to answer he or she is grabbed and killed. One expert states that the elephants know exactly what they are doing.
I only saw the previews. Elephants are rebelling against oppression and slave labor. Can't blame them. Seriously, elephants are very interesting. They supposedly have ancestral memory, but that could be more like a bird knowing instinctively to migrate. How they know these things is remarkable.
 
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Viva la revolucion! roflmao

Yeah, I heard about this a few years ago. I didn't know it still kept up, I thought they decided to kill the herds.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Bio-Hazard said:
Viva la revolucion! roflmao
Yeah, I heard about this a few years ago. I didn't know it still kept up, I thought they decided to kill the herds.
It seems that they have a bit of a problem since elephants are considered to be sacred. So I think the elephants realized that they have a psychological advantage. :biggrin:

It is something to behold. They easily destroy buildings and cars.
As an aside, it seems that there was a question as to whether or not elephants run.
http://whyfiles.org/shorties/128elephant_run/

Moonbear, perhaps elephants gallumph? :biggrin:
 
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matthyaouw

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Elephants are very social animals, and learn about what to eat, where to find water and how to behave from their mothers and older bulls. Recently some orphaned bull elephants were killing rare rhinos in South Africa's Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Reserve. In a conservation effort several decades ago, orphaned elephants were moved from Kruger National Park to Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Reserve where there were no elephants. They grew up without the influence of their mothers or older bulls. It is thought that without role models they didn't know how to behave and were taking out their aggressions inappropriately on the rhinos. Older bulls were brought in to teach them how to behave themselves.
http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/african_elephant.htm

Poole and numerous colleagues have studied the disruption of complex elephant social structures. They have suggested that some animals may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) much like humans.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/06/0603_050603_elephants.html
 
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Evo

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matthyaouw said:
In a conservation effort several decades ago, orphaned elephants were moved from Kruger National Park to Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Reserve where there were no elephants. They grew up without the influence of their mothers or older bulls. It is thought that without role models they didn't know how to behave and were taking out their aggressions inappropriately on the rhinos. Older bulls were brought in to teach them how to behave themselves.
That would be like taking a group of children and letting them loose to raise themselves. If there is no one to teach them right from wrong, what do they expect?

Interesting Matthyaouw, thanks!
 

Moonbear

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Ivan Seeking said:
As an aside, it seems that there was a question as to whether or not elephants run.
http://whyfiles.org/shorties/128elephant_run/
Moonbear, perhaps elephants gallumph? :biggrin:
Maybe. It sure sounds like gallumphing to me. :biggrin: Though, I can't view the movies on that site. I only get the audio and a message that I need to install another component for quicktime, but it doesn't tell me which one and just takes me to Apple's website with a list of third party components.
 

DaveC426913

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Knock Knock.
Who is it?
Landshark.
 
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Oh they were influenced by SNL!!!!! That explains a lot.
 

Ouabache

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I remember reading about the same thing happening in Sumatra twenty years ago. (The Elephants' Revolt) The pachyderms came galloping in triumph through their villages, terrorising residents, smashing homes and destroying crops.

Or maybe they were galumphing (either that or we've been through the looking glass, once too often). :wink:

Here is fact sheet about a few other unhappy elephants. :frown:
 
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-Job-

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Without denying that elephants might have some degree of intelligence, claiming that they're knocking on doors is a little hard to believe. I imagine they're throwing their body against the door trying to break in and the people go "oh my god, he's knocking on the door, he's knocking on the door".
He's knocking on the whole wall. :smile:
 

Evo

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Ouabache said:
Here is fact sheet about a few other unhappy elephants. :frown:
Sad. :frown: These are beautiful, intelligent, social animals. There should be laws against their use as toys and slaves. :devil:
 
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beautiful, intelligent, huge, and pissed. I vote for freedom, just so they don't kill me.
 

Evo

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Cosmo16 said:
beautiful, intelligent, huge, and pissed. I vote for freedom, just so they don't kill me.
At least they don't use guns. Now that would be a real problem. :bugeye:
 

cronxeh

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Evo said:
At least they don't use guns. Now that would be a real problem. :bugeye:
You cant hug your children with nuclear arms! :rofl:
 

Ouabache

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Evo said:
Sad. :frown: These are beautiful, intelligent, social animals. There should be laws against their use as toys and slaves. :devil:
Agreed... Unfortunately there are many cultures who continue to try and domesticate them as work or pack animals (and done so for several centuries). Then there are cultures like ours who are willing to pay to see them at the zoo or the circus.
 

Ivan Seeking

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DaveC426913 said:
Knock Knock.
Who is it?
Landshark.
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Pizza man.
 

-Job-

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If they can knock on doors they can figure out how to use a riffle. They certainly have the extremities for it. With their accute sense of positioning we ought to train them and send them to war, no need for GPS. :smile: I don't want to get into a whole debate on which animal would perform best in war again, but elephants are certainly high on the list.
 

Ivan Seeking

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I know the claim sounds a bit outrageous but seriously, if a bird can fashion a wire into a hook in order to retrieve food, I don't find it so hard to believe that an elephant could learn to knock on a door. I've seen more difficult tricks performed in circus acts.
 

-Job-

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But they would need conditioning, where does that come from? They may be around people knocking on doors, but there's no reward/punishment hence no positive/negative conditioning.
 
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Ivan Seeking

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-Job- said:
But they would need conditioning, where does that come from? They may be around people knocking on doors, but there's no reward/punishment hence no positive/negative conditioning.
How did the bird figure out how to make a hook? That problem seems more complex to me than does mimicking that actions of a human - knocking on a door. I would assume that they may have seen this done, perhaps??? Anyway, I'm not trying to prove the point but I've heard many crazier things that are true.
 
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Ivan Seeking

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I guess what is striking is the suggestion that an elephant not only learned a form of human communication, he used it against us.
 

-Job-

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Indeed. What is also outstanding in my opinion is that they would be able to carry out a logical process consisting of more than one step:
. i want to kill humans
. humans hide indoors
. if i knock on the door humans come out
. hence i'll kill humans by first knocking on their doors.

Also, if they want to kill humans i'd imagine there would be some sort of rage in the animal. The fact that they're constraining themselves in knocking on the door gently and waiting for people to show up is also a tough case to make, i think.
 
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Most likely it just got lucky. Although I am no expert on the subject it seems that the only way complex behaviors develop is through trial and error. The elephants are smart enough to be able to communicate knowledge to future generations, so eventually through random actions they can have some major advantages in killing people.
-Scott
 

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