African Elephants Are Being Born Without Tusks To Have Better Chances Of Survival
Poaching is a serious offense and one that had led to the extinction of entire species of creatures. The constant threat from human interference can sometimes have unforeseen consequences that directly affect the wildlife being hunted. Many species are in danger of extinction, but elephants are in the biggest danger of all.
Elephants are majestic creatures and a testament to the wonder of our planet’s wildlife. They are the largest creature on land and are descended from an ancestor they shared with woolly Mammoths.
Typically known for their large white tusks, the large land animal has been hunted to the brink of non-existence for their prized ivory.
The majority of elephants living in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National park lost their lives as a result during a 15-year civil war.
One report from National Geographic shared the results of such event on the elephant population: “Hunting gave elephants that didn’t grow tusks a biological advantage in Gorongosa. Normally, tusklessness would only occur in about 2 to 4 percent of female African elephants. Recent figures suggest that about a third of younger female-the generation born after the war ended in 1992-never developed tusks… new, as yet unpublished… research indicates that of the 200 known adult females, 51 percent of those that survived the war-animals 25 years or older-are tuskless. And 32 percent of the female elephants born since the war are tuskless.”
The elephants in Mozambique are not the only ones in danger of losing numbers and tusks to poachers looking for profit. South Africa’s elephant population is also directly biologically affected by poachers’ actions. “Fully 98 percent of the 174 females in Addo Elephant National Park were reportedly tuskless in the early 2000s.”
Tusks are not just pretty little bones that stick out of their face. Tusks are important for helping them strip bark to eat and for protecting their trunk. It’s unfortunate, but tusks alone cannot protect these majestic creatures from poachers.