Sounding off

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The Independent Online

Elephants have always been remarkable creatures. Being able to shower, uproot a tree and eat lunch, all without using your hands, is no mean feat. But now we learn that they are good impressionists too. A 10-year-old called Mlaika has learnt to mimic the sound of traffic on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway. And an African male has taken to emitting high-pitched noises in an effort to fit in with his Asian elephant friends. All of which raises the question: when did they learn to blow their own trumpets with quite such vigour? Perhaps it was in the days of the British Empire, when Africa and Asia were stuffed full of noisy colonels. Elephant hear, elephant do?

Elephants have always been remarkable creatures. Being able to shower, uproot a tree and eat lunch, all without using your hands, is no mean feat. But now we learn that they are good impressionists too. A 10-year-old called Mlaika has learnt to mimic the sound of traffic on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway. And an African male has taken to emitting high-pitched noises in an effort to fit in with his Asian elephant friends. All of which raises the question: when did they learn to blow their own trumpets with quite such vigour? Perhaps it was in the days of the British Empire, when Africa and Asia were stuffed full of noisy colonels. Elephant hear, elephant do?

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