African elephant using tool, video

This video says about itself:

Elephant using a stick to clean beneath its toe nails


Jan 22, 2013

This video was taken in Amboseli National Park in Kenya by one of our UK based consultants Lily. The elephants had been feeding in the marshes – you can see that the elephant is wet and in some of the distant shots has a waterline running along her body. When she got out, she noticed this stick and took some time using her foot and trunk to get it in exactly the correct position.

Once she had, she anchored it with her full weight on her left foot and used its sharp end to clean between the toes and under the nails of her right foot. Whether she had mud or maybe a small stone wedged there from the bottom of the marsh it was impossible to see, but she certainly knew exactly what she was trying to do, and succeeded in doing it.

Elephants have been recorded using sticks before, to scratch themselves with or using foliage to swat insects. We’ve never seen one clean their toe nails before. If you have, let us know.

February 2013. The BBC was criticized in some (short-sighted) quarters recently for showing the death of a baby elephant during a drought in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park. New research has shown that this is not an uncommon event as young elephants are twice as likely to die during a hot dry spell as normal: here.

March 2013. At least 89 elephants have been killed by poachers in Chad, according to local officials, in one of the region’s worst poaching incidents since the massacre of more than 300 elephants in Cameroon’s Bouba N’Djida National Park in February 2012: here.

Baby elephant rescued after anti-poaching flight in Kenya: here.

18 thoughts on “African elephant using tool, video

  1. Reblogged this on Serenity's Musings and commented:
    That is quite interesting. I have seen a lot of things in my time so I am not entirely surprised to see this. I can imagine that elephants are good puzzle solvers and that perhaps this one just put two and two together and thought perhaps the stick could be used to dislodge whatever was caught in its foot. Nevertheless, it was still very uber to kool to see and animals never cease to amaze me, especially when they do stuff such as this. Thanks to Dear Kitty for sharing this one…


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  3. Dear friends at Avaaz,

    Across Africa, elephants are being slaughtered in record numbers to make statues and trinkets in Asia. Thailand is at the heart of this bloody trade, but it has just announced that it will “consider” ending the trade altogether, giving us a rare chance to stop the massacre. Join me now to bring people power to Thailand and end the bloodbath:

    Sign the petition
    Across Africa, elephants are being slaughtered by poachers in record numbers — and their tusks hacked off with chainsaws — to make luxury items, statues and trinkets in Asia. But in days, Thailand will host a key global summit on illegal trade in endangered species, giving us a rare chance to stop this futile massacre.

    Thailand is the world’s largest unregulated ivory market and a top driver of the illegal trade.They’ve been in the hot seat for years, yet so far little has been done to clamp down on their role in the elephant attack. But Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has just announced that she is considering a full ivory ban. That’s why we started a global petition on the Avaaz site, to give this campaign the last push it needs to win.

This is the best chance we’ve had in years to have a meaningful victory for Africa’s elephants — we just need to put people power behind it. Join me now to stop the bloody ivory trade. Sign the urgent petition and share it with everyone:

    It’s heartbreaking to hear conservationists use the term ‘killing frenzy’ to describe the scale of elephant poaching right now — it’s the worst it’s been in over 2 decades. Exploiting a legal loophole that allows the sale of ivory from Thailand’s domestic elephants, criminals smuggle in illegally obtained African ivory, mix it in with domestic sources so no one can tell them apart, then get away with selling it on the open market.

    But there is serious pressure on Thailand to act, before the 10-day UN summit on endangered species begins in Bangkok. Now is the time for us to act to shut down the Thai Ivory trade and set a ripple effect across Asia, forcing other countries to confront their illegal ivory trade as well.

    Join me now to turn up the heat on the Thai government and strike a blow against the ivory trade. Together we can win this. Help me reach 1 million before the meeting with PM Shinawatra in days. Sign and share with friends and family:

    Across the world’s cultures and throughout our history elephants have been revered in religions and have captured our imagination — Babar, Dumbo, Ganesh, Airavata, Erawan. That these beautiful and highly intelligent creatures are being annihilated is a tragedy, but today we can right that wrong.

    With hope and determination,

    Leonardo DiCaprio, with the Avaaz team


    On Conference’s Eve, Thailand Is Pressed to Halt Ivory Trade (NY Times)

    Ivory traders meet to head off sanctions (The Nation)

    Leonardo DiCaprio: Actor calls for ivory trade ban in Thailand (The Washington Times)

    Activists want ivory sanctions on Thailand, others (Global Post)

    DiCaprio blasts Thai ivory sales (Bangkok Post)


    • Dear Avaazers,

      We just got Thailand’s Prime Minister to promise to shut down her country?s ivory trade. But for every victory, there are hundreds more animals facing extinction, and time is running out. To truly win, we need to grow a team focused on beating the poachers and profiteers. If just 25,000 of us chip in today, we can scale up all our conservation campaigns and save these endangered creatures:

      Every day, a long list of majestic creatures are cruelly slaughtered by poachers — driving them closer to extinction. And they are killed to fuel violent syndicates getting rich on bogus goods — elephant tusks become trinkets, rhino horns become fake sex remedies, and shark fins become soup. It is a global disgrace, and the sad truth is we?re losing this fight. But we know how to tip the balance to save these noble animals.

      Just days ago, Thailand?s Prime Minister promised to shut down her country?s ivory trade. Why? Because of us, Leonardo DiCaprio and our friends at WWF. When we heard she was hosting the UN summit on endangered species, we did what we do best — we found a specific, doable demand that could have huge impact, and then weighed in all our people power behind a massive petition, combined with high-level advocacy and a barrage of social media. And we won!

      This is just one of the many fights we are in to save endangered species — we stopped a global proposal to legalise the whale slaughter, we are fighting a legal battle in South Africa to stop the lion bone trade, and in Europe we are in the final stretch of a huge campaign to save bees from pesticide annihilation! But for every battle, there are hundreds more animals facing extinction and time is running out. To truly win, we need to supercharge our team.

      Here’s the plan — we take our tiny staff and grow a team focused on beating the poachers and profiteers, and we use our campaigning magic to take on fights across the globe. We know what we do can save these endangered species from disappearing from our planet. And it doesn’t take much — if only 25,000 of us chip in today, we could grow our team and scale up all our conservation campaigns:

      Never before has wildlife been so threatened by mankind. These lions, elephants, tigers and rhinos are the subject of ancient fables and tales, and now our generation is annihilating them. What we are doing is arrogant and sinister, and is a terrifying indication of a loss of our moral compass — herds of elephants are executed with assault rifles for ivory, African lions are ground up to make bogus medicines, and thousands of sharks have their fins cut off while they?re alive. It’s crazy! The UN estimates up to 200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal go extinct every 24 hours — a rate faster than anything the world has seen since the vanishing of dinosaurs millions of years ago.

      Taking on the poachers, smugglers, corporations and governments that drive so many species to extinction is no easy task. But these are battles we know how to fight — and with just a handful more staff, here’s an idea of what we could do:
      Hard-hitting consumer campaigns across Asia — the top destination for shark fins, elephant ivory and rhino horns — with targeted billboard and social media ads
      Show up to major summits and lobby elected leaders to make species survival a priority through stronger legislation and better enforcement of laws
      Push lawmakers in key wildlife trade countries to close down legislative loopholes fueling the illegal trade, just like we did in Thailand?
      Publicly shame complicit officials and politicians with ads in countries where corruption is part of the cruel trade in animal parts
      Win a legal battle and help stop the lion bone trade in South Africa
      Pull out our whole gambit of winning strategies and tactics, from eye catching stunts to high-level advocacy, until we get a total ban on bee-killing pesticides
      Some of these strategies have already worked with just 3 or 4 staff. If we now expand the Avaaz core team by just a handful, we can deploy winning campaigns and start turning the tide on global species extinction. Chip in ?4 now to build our conservation team and save these amazing animals:

      Our amazing, nearly 20 million-strong community has already helped lead the charge to safeguard our planet and the remarkable species that inhabit it. This is a fight we know how to win, and if we now take our campaigning to another level together we could tip the balance towards their survival.

      With hope and determination,

      Jamie, Alice, Nick, Marie, Lisa, Joo-yea, Ricken, Bissan and the rest of the Avaaz team


      Thailand’s Prime Minister commits to ending ivory trade (Mongabay)

      Traffic: Why It?s Time to Get Serious About the Bloody Illegal Wildlife Trade (Time)

      Shark kills number 100 million annually, research says (BBC)

      EU vote on pesticides is bugged by complexities (Telegraph)

      Protect nature for world economic security, warns UN biodiversity chief (Guardian)

      100 most endangered species: priceless or worthless? ? in pictures (Guardian)


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