Author Topic: Do elephants know?  (Read 460 times)

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Offline shnozzola

Do elephants know?
« on: March 20, 2013, 08:04:02 PM »
A new study of Central African forest elephants has found their numbers down by 62 percent between 2002 and 2011
Quote
[Elephants] are not only social creatures, they have social systems that are so sophisticated ... they understand the concept of mortality. They show signs of mourning dead. ... Behind the numbers is a real tragedy of a very sentient creature who really knows that there's a genocide going on.
 
- Richard Ruggiero, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division of International Conservation

http://www.npr.org/2013/03/06/173508369/elephant-poaching-pushes-species-to-brink-of-extinction
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Offline Nick

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Re: Do elephants know?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2013, 09:06:27 PM »
Very sad.  There does not seem to be enough room on the planet anymore for animals and people.
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Online mrbiscoop

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Re: Do elephants know?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2013, 10:16:57 PM »
  I've said it before and I'll say it again, the people responsible should be summarily executed. If necessary the families should be targeted also. The only way to stop this is to make the price paid extreme and then some. There are over 7 billion people on this planet, most are pretty average or below so. I would rather have a planet of a few billion people, and a thriving natural environment where animals needn't be viewed as a resource for ivory, fur, entertainment, etc.
                        VHEMT
When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.
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Offline wright

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Re: Do elephants know?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2013, 11:14:31 PM »
  I've said it before and I'll say it again, the people responsible should be summarily executed. If necessary the families should be targeted also.

Really? Would you really be willing to shoot children whose fathers had poached elephants, or have others do it for you?

The only way to stop this is to make the price paid extreme and then some. There are over 7 billion people on this planet, most are pretty average or below so. I would rather have a planet of a few billion people, and a thriving natural environment where animals needn't be viewed as a resource for ivory, fur, entertainment, etc.
                        VHEMT

I'd much rather have that too. But shooting everyone who's ever poached an elephant (let alone their families) isn't going to stop the demand for ivory, or improve the conditions that make killing elephants for their tusks an alternative to starving for desperate people.

That said, I find the goals of VHEMT admirable. For those unfamiliar, here's a link:http://vhemt.org/
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Offline relativetruth

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Re: Do elephants know?
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2013, 07:45:38 PM »
  I've said it before and I'll say it again, the people responsible should be summarily executed. If necessary the families should be targeted also. The only way to stop this is to make the price paid extreme and then some. There are over 7 billion people on this planet, most are pretty average or below so. I would rather have a planet of a few billion people, and a thriving natural environment where animals needn't be viewed as a resource for ivory, fur, entertainment, etc.
                        VHEMT

I know that in the seventies they used to cull elephants at the Wankie game reserve in Zimbabwe.

What would you suggest is a fair way to cull humans?

The elderly theists, deists, agnostics and finally atheists in that order?
Followed by random selection of other men women and children?

Maybe members of the KKK and their off-spring?

What about all tea party members?
 
God(s) exist and are imaginary

Online mrbiscoop

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Re: Do elephants know?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2013, 08:11:07 PM »
Drastic problems demand drastic solutions.
When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.
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Offline wright

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Re: Do elephants know?
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2013, 09:51:54 PM »
Drastic problems demand drastic solutions.

So may I take that as a "yes" to:
 
  I've said it before and I'll say it again, the people responsible should be summarily executed. If necessary the families should be targeted also.

Really? Would you really be willing to shoot children whose fathers had poached elephants, or have others do it for you?
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
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Online mrbiscoop

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Re: Do elephants know?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2013, 09:16:13 AM »
Perhaps not children, it's hard to imagine that. It's such an emotionally charged subject that sometimes my posts get away from me.
When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Do elephants know?
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2013, 10:11:34 AM »
So these children aren't to be killed, merely orphaned.  Right.
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Offline wright

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Re: Do elephants know?
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2013, 10:41:55 AM »
Perhaps not children, it's hard to imagine that.

I'm relieved. All we have to judge each other with here are our words; sarcasm and other subtleties are often lost.

It's such an emotionally charged subject that sometimes my posts get away from me.

Thanks for the admission. I would much rather see a healthy, viable population of elephants in the wild as well, along with the necessary supporting habitat.

Just killing their poachers in retaliation though, even if they could be identified, is not a long-term solution. Feeding and educating the local people so they can support themselves and their families in other ways is the longer, more difficult, more promising route.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
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Online mrbiscoop

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Re: Do elephants know?
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2013, 11:41:02 AM »
It would not just be in retaliation however. That particular individual wouldn't be killing any more elephants seeing as how he is dead, to say nothing of the warning it sends. I agree withe the feeding and educating part but I fear that time is running out. Here's another article on the subject:

http://theweek.com/article/index/241741/africas-devastating-elephant-poaching-problem
« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 11:42:42 AM by mrbiscoop »
When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.
              -Emo Philips

Offline wright

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Re: Do elephants know?
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2013, 02:17:15 PM »
It would not just be in retaliation however. That particular individual wouldn't be killing any more elephants seeing as how he is dead, to say nothing of the warning it sends.

And how long would it be before the same conditions produced another poacher to replace the dead one? Apart from ethics, it doesn't seem a very effective way to keep the elephants unmolested.

I agree withe the feeding and educating part but I fear that time is running out. Here's another article on the subject:

http://theweek.com/article/index/241741/africas-devastating-elephant-poaching-problem

I agree, it's a complex problem with a lot of different components. Without political stability, those countries with wild elephants don't have the resources to protect them; indeed, the elephants' ivory is seen as a resource to be used.

I'm afraid that as things stand now, wild elephants are likely to vanish, at least in Central Africa. Viable populations will have to be reestablished from zoo stock, in a time when they can be properly protected by addressing such things as political stability and corruption, sustainable land use and educating the local humans.

And again, while I sympathize with your frustration, killing people in retaliation, even if they're literally red-handed, is useless in the long run. There will always be others who will see the potential reward as worth the risk, until the demand for ivory is reduced and conditions improved so that the local people have better alternatives.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Do elephants know?
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2013, 02:28:17 PM »
Ah, yes, elephants:

In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University. On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully.

He got down on one knee, inspected the elephant’s foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenage son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter could not help wondering if this was the same elephant. Peter summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing, and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

It probably wasn’t the same elephant.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Do elephants know?
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2013, 02:42:46 PM »
I love animals and African wildlife in particular. African people also love their wildlife, and find poaching a tragedy. There are baby elephant orphanages where African people care for the ones left behind after the parents are killed.

The Central African situation is such that war and displacement of millions of people during the past 20 years has so disrupted normal farming and work patterns that families are desperate. Given the choice between getting money illegally by killing an elephant[1]or an equally endangered mountain gorilla, and watching my children and elders go hungry, I know what I would do.

And nearly everyone else here would do the same thing, even at the risk of execution.  I've seen little children crying because they are only eating twice a day. Their parents are eating once a day to make sure the kids have food. I would kill the elephant.

Much of the demand for ivory, exotic animals and their parts is coming from the increased wealth of China. Stop buying this sh!t, nouveau riche people of China. And we in the wealthy countries need to trade fairly with Africa and stop supporting African dictators and warlords. That is where the pressure needs to be put, not on wartorn, displaced, hungry families.
 1. not an easy task, as African elephants are extremely dangerous to people, probably for good reasons
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