Category Archives: elephant matriarch

Elephant Grandmothers, Giant Concern

5342495338_fc63baee81_zYou have probably heard about the threat to African elephants: 17,000 slaughtered in 2011. And grandmothers are at the center of this crisis.

Elephants live in matriarchal tribes, headed by mature females. They areĀ an extremely social species. The matriarchs know where the closest watering hole can be found, as well as who, or what, is the most potent enemy. Researchers have found that the older the matriarch, the more babies who survive.

Sadly, also, the older the matriarch, the longer the tusk: those pieces of ivory prized by poachers. So elephant grandmothers are valuable both to their own species, and to the humans who prey on them. And they seem to be aware of the genocide in progress. Scientists report that they are suffering from a form of ptsd, except that the danger is ongoing.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if human grandmother could help?