Response to Stimuli
For my third characteristic, I chose to write about how elephants respond to stimuli. Elephant movements at the end of the dry season may be a response to their detection of distant thunderstorms. Elephants in overlapping ranges, but following separate tracks, exhibited statistically valid non-random near-simultaneous changes in movements when rainfall was occurring more than 100 km from their location.
Current Event Summary: According to National Geographic article "Elephants Are Social, Like Humans, and Should Be Treated That Way, Expert Urges", early this year, Scientists did a study that showed that social bonding and enrichment activities were more important than enclosure size to elephants in North American zoos. They found that social/family interaction and enrichment activities are more beneficial than larger enclosures for elephants in zoos. Elephants are very social animals. These scientists were able to conclude that captive elephant managers should always be looking for ways to improve captive conditions, and sometimes improving psychological conditions can be easier than enclosure size as many don’t have ability to increase their enclosures.