Reverse charge call: Scientists find a way to divert sex-crazed elephants
They behave like bull elephants on the rampage, because that is what they are. Now scientists believe they have come up with a plan to lure amorous male elephants in search of females back to the safety of the nearest nature park.
People near wildlife reserves in Africa live in fear of escaping bull elephants in "musth", when their sex hormones go into overdrive and they let nothing stand in the way of finding a suitable female in heat. But scientists have devised a method of luring them back to their home range using the siren calls of females in oestrus.
Female elephants become fertile and go into oestrus only once every five or six years so it is important for a male elephant to seize the opportunity when he can.
"Musth bulls will travel long distances in search of females and that often means that they will break out of the reserves. They can be very difficult to manage," said Caitlin O'Connell-Rodwell of Stanford University in California.
Preliminary results of an experiment involving the taped calls of oestrus females show that musth bulls can be redirected with the help of bass speakers dug into the ground. Tests on 26 bull elephants living in the Etosha National Park in Namibia found that bulls in musth can be fooled into thinking that a taped call of a female is the real thing, Dr O'Connell-Rodwell told the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago.
She added: "We've shown that we can get them to leave a watering hole, head on a trajectory and then get them to turn back and head in the opposite direction."
- 1 Video shows how to turn your phone into a 3D hologram
- 2 Artist Jamie McCartney: How The Great Wall of Vagina is a stand against 'body fascism'
- 3 Katie Hopkins reveals fear she will die during brain surgery to cure epilepsy
- 4 'Gene drive': Scientists sound alarm over supercharged GM organisms which could spread in the wild and cause environmental disasters
- 5 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
Katie Hopkins reveals fear she will die during brain surgery to cure epilepsy
Tensions flare as Confederate flag supporter reaches for gun when confronted by protests – in pictures
'Gene drive': Scientists sound alarm over supercharged GM organisms which could spread in the wild and cause environmental disasters
The Vatican on space: The discovery of intelligent life wouldn't mean there's an alien Jesus somewhere in the universe
Tom Cruise: Reporters banned from asking actor about Scientology
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor Chris Leslie
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global technology company ...
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has bec...
£18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This strategic outsourcing and energy se...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for an I...