Science, Tech & Environment

Technology helps African elephants

(Tell us what the technology is and how it works?) We use local people to get to know the individual elephants and then put together a photo file on 500 elephants. The other technology consists of GPS and satellite technology to pinpoint the elephant every hour and then the elephant sends out a text message which goes into a database and we access this to look at how an elephant thinks. (How does the texting work?) It's all automated. There's an electronic box and a chip inside a collar we put on the elephant's neck, and so when an elephant crosses out of a certain boundary like has left a reserve, the chip will send out a text to inform about the elephant's movement. So if one elephant breaks a fence and goes out of a holding, he can cause huge damage. People want to cut down on the human-elephant conflicts, so they would find this elephant and chase it away from causing damage. This shows that geo-fencing work. (Have you been made more fearful by your experience with this one elephant?) I'm not fearful of elephants. I had one experience where we didn't notice an elephant who charged at us. after threatening, I was so confused as to why she didn't know come back and finish me off with her tusk. So she either changed her mind about attacking, or she was just showing her threat.

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