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The elephant is the largest land animal on Earth. But does its size give it an advantage over other animals?
Regarding aggression, elephants are not usually the first to come to mind. But their size and power can be intimidating to other animals.
While elephants are not typically aggressive, they will fight back if their presence is not respected. Although their size does give them a fighting edge, elephants mainly use their size to intimidate other animals.
In this hilarious video, an elephant is intimidating a wildebeest trying to drink from a water pond. The elephant is trying to establish its supremacy by chasing away the wildebeest.
But the wildebeest doesn’t seem frightened by the elephant’s intimidating presence. Instead, it tries to drink water despite the increasing intimidation by the approaching elephant. The wildebeest moves past the elephant in a cold, calculated manner. Frustrated that he can’t catch up with the wildebeest, the elephant throws water and bathes the wildebeest instead.
The wildebeest shows no signs of relenting. As if unmoved, it goes around the elephant and returns to the pond, this time at the far end. The biggest mammal in Africa gives in and watches helplessly as the wildebeest drinks more water.
When Do Elephants Attack?
Elephants are typically peaceful animals but attack other animals if they sense possible danger. This is because they are strong enough to kill with a single blow. But despite their size and strength, elephants rarely turn on humans.
There are a few situations when an elephant might attack another animal. Elephants are known to be aggressive when defending themselves or their young or feeling threatened by other animals. They can also become aggressive when they are injured or sick.
When elephants become aggressive, they will charge at their target until it is driven away—the elephant charges in self-defense or to stop the threat from advancing. So if you’re ever in an area where elephants are present, be cautious and avoid any actions that might trigger an attack.
Elephants are large animals and need a lot of space to roam. If they feel like another animal is getting too close, they may attack to assert dominance.
Elephants are brilliant animals that can be domesticated and trained for various purposes. They have also been used as working animals in ancient times. That means elephants can be gentle or aggressive when necessary. But these huge creatures can easily attack when they feel threatened or provoked, even if the threat comes from an unexpected photographer’s camera flash. To avoid their attacks, be mindful of your surroundings.
How to Tell When Elephants Turn Aggressive
If an elephant becomes aggressive, it will show in its body language. For example, if an elephant splays its ears and raises its trunk, it’s a good sign that they are agitated. Another sign is that it starts to make a lot of noise. Trumpeting, rumbling, and bellowing are all common signs of an irritated elephant. Also, give the elephant some space and avoid making any sudden movements.
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
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