How does the African elephant interact with people?

African elephants interact with people in a variety of ways. Elephants are a well known, charismatic species and many people go to Africa each year on safaris to see elephants. Because of this, elephants can be an important source of money for African countries and local communities. Some countries, such as Tanzania South Africa, and Botswana, allow hunting of elephants where tourists pay thousands of dollars for the chance to hunt an elephant. This also is a source of money, and sometimes meat, for local people and governments. This is controversial, however, and some countries, such as Kenya, do not allow hunting of wildlife.

Elephants can also cause problems for people. Human-elephant conflict is increasing in many areas, especially as the human population grows and people move into elephant habitat. Crop raiding occurs when elephants eat agricultural crops and is one of the most common forms of human-elephant conflict. Elephants have very big appetites, consuming hundreds of kilograms of plants a day. One herd of elephants can eat a farmer’s fields in a single night. Elephants have also been known to chase or kill livestock and even to kill people, especially along roads at night when people come upon groups of elephants suddenly.

A number of measures have been taken to reduce human-elephant conflict, such as planting chili peppers in fields to deter elephants. New measures are being tried all the time, such as using the sound of bees to scare away elephants. Hopefully these methods will allow people and elephants to live near each other without having conflict.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

beccaathernought February 8, 2012 at 4:05 pm

thankyou this has been very helpful and i have used this website as a source for my georgraphy project!xx


Cordelia March 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm


from Cordelia
Monte Carlo


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