October 10, 2013 |
African elephants really get the point -- the finger point that is. At least that's the conclusion of a study published Thursday in the journal Current Biology that examined the behavior of 11 pachyderms who were pointed in the direction of hidden snacks. According to study author Richard Byrne, a professor of evolutionary psychology at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, African elephants will investigate the contents of a container 68% of the time if a human points to it. By comparison, a 12-month-old human will check out the indicated container 73% of the time.
November 26, 2012
The Los Angeles City Council is poised to consider a measure that would in effect prevent elephants from performing in traveling shows and exhibitions in the city. It's hardly unusual for the council to sound off on any issue under the sun, but in this case, the proposal before it underscores a growing appreciation for the world's largest and most majestic land mammal. It deserves to be approved, and should prompt serious reflection on humanity's relationship with these noble animals.
July 24, 2012 |
The Los Angeles Zoo “is not a happy place for elephants, nor is it for members of the public who go to the zoo and recognize that the elephants are neither thriving, happy, nor content,” declared L.A. Superior Court Judge John L. Segal in the decision he signed Monday ruling in favor of two local citizens and animal welfare advocates who sued the zoo, arguing it mistreats its pachyderms. “Captivity is a terrible existence for any intelligent, self-aware species, which the undisputed evidence shows elephants are. To believe otherwise, as some high-ranking zoo employees appear to believe, is delusional.
February 4, 2009 |
Tom Rider, who used to be a "barn man" for Ringling Bros., said that when he worked there in the late 1990s, he regularly saw handlers of the circus' endangered Asian elephants abusing the giant creatures. He said they used long, sharp-hooked poles, "hitting them in the legs, hooking them behind the ears" and leaving gashes the size of his finger. Ringling denies the allegations, saying it has never been cited for animal cruelty.
April 22, 2011 |
Tyler Perry will ride herd over an elephant at the box office this weekend. "Madea's Big Happy Family," the latest release from the prolific filmmaker-writer-actor, is expected to gross about $30 million, according to people who have seen pre-release audience surveys. "Water for Elephants," a romantic drama based on Sara Gruen's bestselling novel about a Great Depression-era traveling circus, should trail with about $15 million. The weekend's other new wide release, "African Cats," an animal documentary featuring lions and cheetahs, is expected to sell about $7 million worth of tickets.
April 22, 2011 |
"Water for Elephants" gives off an air of self-satisfaction, and you can see why. What film wouldn't be pleased with having a No. 1 bestseller as source material, an unapologetically picturesque world for its setting and major players such as Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson and a superb Christoph Waltz as its stars. What's not to like? There is quite a bit to enjoy in a film that certainly qualifies as broad-based popular entertainment. But because the ingredients are so promising, there hangs over this serviceable project the wish that it had turned out better still.
October 23, 2013 |
The Los Angeles City Council smartly - and unanimously - passed a ban Wednesday on the use of bullhooks to manage elephants in performances and exhibitions in the city. Not only does the ban prohibit the sharp-edged fire-poker-like device that trainers use as a tool of coercion to get the elephants to do what they want, it also bans any implement (baseball bats, ax handles, etc.) that would be similarly used to prod, poke or strike an elephant and inflict pain. The vote was 14 to 0. Councilman Jose Huizar was not present.
February 8, 1988 |
Three wild elephants went on a rampage in southern Nepal, killing two people and trampling homes, the national news agency said Sunday.
April 5, 1989 |
A herd of rogue elephants has killed eight people, destroyed 120 houses and spread terror in central India, the Hindustan Times reported Tuesday.
September 4, 2010 |
Ecologists have discovered the secret weapon used by certain acacia trees to defend themselves against ravenous elephants: ants. The finding could one day help conservationists protect vulnerable plants from elephants and other large herbivores, said University of Florida biologist Todd Palmer, who reported the discovery online Thursday in the journal Current Biology. Elephants can have a devastating impact on the trees of the African savannas, Palmer said. A hungry pachyderm can easily demolish a tree, wrapping its prehensile trunk around thick branches and ripping them off. A herd of them can lay waste to an area — a problem for people trying to protect wild lands or cropland.