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Elephants Have 2,000 Genes for Smell—Most Ever Found

The large mammals have 2,000 genes related to smell, the most ever discovered in an animal, a new study says.

Gift to the Maasai Mara, a Male Elephant is Born

By Joyce Poole Petter Granli and I left Cottars 1920s Safari Camp on the border of the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, the northern extension of the great Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. We were heading toward the Sand River crossing, where elephants had been seen the evening before. The route was not direct, as tracks twisted and…

Mourning the Loss of a Great Elephant: Torn Ear

A beloved, venerable African elephant named Torn Ear was killed in Kenya on February 7 by poachers who shot him with poisoned arrows. Richard Bonham discovered Torn Ear’s fatal injury while observing him at a watering hole. Bonham is the co-founder and the African operations director of the wildlife conservation organization, Big Life Foundation. He…

Fighting Wildlife Crime: New U.S. Strategy Broadens Scope

President Obama’s new national strategy to combat illegal wildlife trafficking around the globe is intended to be far more sweeping than curbing the poaching of African elephants.

Success and Tragedy: IFAW’s Project to Relocate Elephants in Côte d’Ivoire

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) recently completed an ambitious project: translocating six forest elephants in Côte d’Ivoire. The elephants—all males—were transferred from small patches of forest just outside the town of Daloa, to Azagny National Park, a 46,000-acre park 250 miles away. The move was considered exceedingly risky: possibly the first-ever forest elephant…

Elephant Photobombs Tourists: How’d It Happen?

The curious pachyderm snuck up behind clueless tourists in Zimbabwe in “the photobomb of a lifetime.”

Elephants in the Media: A Conversation with Melissa Groo

Since 2001, elephant conservationist Melissa Groo has been managing the Save the Elephants listserv, a free news service that disseminates daily news about elephants from around the world. Save The Elephants (STE) is a Kenya-based international conservation organization founded by preeminent scientist Iain Douglas-Hamilton, who has been working across Africa on behalf of elephants since…

Elephant Snack

An African elephant can make quick work of a tree and this one did while I was filming at South Africa’s Royal Malewane Game Reserve.  This week when I heard the new poaching numbers that 22,000 elephants were killed last year & 25,000 the year before I thought of this encounter and how special it…

The War on the Illegal Ivory Trade: A Conversation with IFAW’s US Bureau

A few weeks ago a friend of mine discovered that someone he knew was trading or in possession of contraband in the way of ivory and asked me who to contact. I told him to contact the USFWS.  Specifically, I suggested emailing or calling the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Division of Management Authority, the…

Desert Elephants

The term Desert Elephant sounds like an oxymoron. How could an animal that eats and drinks as much as an elephant find enough food and water to live in a desert. Savanna elephants yes, forest elephants yes, but a huge pachyderm surviving in an environment that is primarily sand, rocks, and gravel is not an…