Elephants Go on the Offense in Africa

Farmers all ears on ways to stop attacks by vengeful beasts
By Greg Atwan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2007 12:57 PM CDT
Elephants Go on the Offense in Africa
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Elephants are now endangering Southern Africans, as attacks on humans increase and the creatures savage farms. While tourists tend to see the mammoths as cuddly and harmless, Africans tell the Times that the peril is becoming an elephant in the room. "Elephants are horrible things to live next door to," one expert says. "I think we should kill them," adds a villager.

Scientists attribute the increased aggressiveness to population growth after a 1989 ivory ban, and to post-traumatic stress the social animals suffered watching their families being culled. African farmers are warming to a novel solution: hot chili peppers, which inflame the animals' vulnerable sense of smell and keep them away from villages and farms. (More elephant stories.)

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