Elephants Classify Human Ethnic Groups that Hunt Them by Odor

Posted on May 7, 2008  Comments (0)

Wash Your Clothes: Elephants Can Smell You a Mile Away

…in Amboseli National Park in Kenya. Elephants in the region encounter different ethnic groups, including the Maasai, whose young men spear elephants, and the Kamba, agricultural villagers who pose no threat at all.

The researchers observed elephants exposed to the scent from identical cloth garments, some worn by Maasai men, others by Kamba men and some that were unworn. The Maasai scent produced the strongest reactions, with elephants moving farther and faster to distance themselves from the odor source, often not stopping until reaching tall grass. The elephants also took far longer to calm down than those exposed to scents from the Kamba and unworn cloths.

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