Rare, ‘one-in-a-million’ footage of a critically endangered wild forest elephant fleeing from a technologically generated bee sound, has been captured by a wildlife camera trap in remote Liberia, western Africa.
On the edge of Kenya’s vast Tsavo West National Park lies Lake Jipe – one of the country’s most important wetlands and home to hippos, crocodiles and unique birdlife. But beyond its tranquil setting, this freshwater lake also holds a remarkable secret—a harmonious and unique coexistence between humans and elephants.
At the center of this tale is Manolo, a wise bull elephant, and his band of equally legendary companions. Save the Elephants (STE) researchers were the first to uncover the extraordinary bond shared between Manolo (aged 40) and the fishing community of Mikocheni living near Lake Jipe.
Researchers have unravelled the intricacies of wild elephant diets. Using DNA metabarcoding, the Brown University study analysed elephant dung collected by Save the Elephants almost two decades ago which showed surprising variation from meal to meal – with up to 137 unique plant DNA barcodes detected in one faecal sample, revealing the true extent of variation in an individual’s diet.
A ground-breaking study published today (June 27) in the prestigious journal, Trends in Ecology & Evolution, unveils an intriguing connection between hot testicles and the evolution of potent anti-cancer genes in elephants. Led by Professor Fritz Vollrath, Chairman of Save the Elephants, the research suggests that the absence of testicular descent in elephants may have driven the development of multiple anti-cancer genes, safeguarding their temperature-sensitive sperm production.
As human-elephant conflict increases across Africa, farmers need practical, sustainable and affordable ways to peacefully co-exist with elephants without having to resort to violence. Save the Elephants has developed a unique ‘how to’ manual, the Human-Elephant Coexistence (HEC) Toolbox of tried and tested elephant deterrents to empower rural communities to protect their livelihoods from elephants. Built on the success of STE’s Elephants and Bees Project in Tsavo, the Toolbox is the brainchild of Dr Lucy King who heads up STE’s Human-Elephant Coexistence program.
Why Save The Elephants?
Elephants are Africa’s gardeners and landscape engineers, planting seeds and creating habitat wherever they roam. Without urgent action to save their species, elephants could disappear from the wild within a single generation. Approximately 100,000 elephants in Africa were killed for their ivory in just three years between the years 2010 & 2012.
As human-elephant conflict continues to rise across Africa, researchers are searching for new ways to keep a watchful eye on wild African elephants, even looking to space for guidance.
Individual animals should adjust diets according to food availability.
Elephant testicles do not descend, with implications for sperm production being hot enough to compromise germline DNA replication/repair.
The Samburu elephant population is one of the most extensively studied in the world. The elephants’ births, deaths, and interactions are closely monitored, making this population a valuable resource for understanding elephant society. Read more here
We conduct vital research on elephant behaviour and ecology and pioneered GPS radio tracking in Africa to provide fresh insight into the life of elephants. Our solid scientific data has helped shift international policy towards a better future for the species. Read more here
Our STE Wildtracks App enables us to conduct real-time monitoring of elephant movements. The data compiled is used to make critical decisions about elephant corridors as well as to respond quickly to elephants in distress. Read more here