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The Green Life: African Elephants Fear Roads

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November 11, 2008

African Elephants Fear Roads

Game reserve in South Africa Why didn't the elephant cross the road? Researchers believe that the mindful animals associate roads with poaching, and therefore avoid them. A new study conducted by the Wildlife Conservation Society and Save the Elephants tracked the movements of 28 forest-dwelling elephants in central Africa's Congo Basin. Of the monitored group, only one pachyderm crossed a road outside of a protected area, rushing across the thoroughfare at 14 times its normal speed. Since the study was conducted, several new roads have been built in the area, and more projects are on the horizon. This could pose a problem for the elephants that never forget, whose fear of crossing roads may cause them to lose access to food sources located on the other side.

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