African elephants have learned to navigate and feed at night to escape the poachers in the areas in which they operate regularly, a study suggests.
Last year that type of behavior was detected in an elephant baptized Morgan, equipped with a GPS collar that insisted on crossing of night, a region that is very dangerous, explained the organization for the protection of animals Save The Elephants and the university of Twente (the Netherlands) through a press release published this Wednesday.
This lone male had left the coastal region of southeastern Kenya towards Somalia. To pass through that area very dangerous for the elephants, and chose to move at night and blend in among the bushes of the day.
«Our hypothesis is that poaching represents a clear risk day,» explained the experts from Save the Elephants and the university of Dutch in their study published in Ecological Indicators.
The team of experts draws their conclusions from the data, of elephants equipped with GPS collars between 2002 and 2012 in the north of Kenya, and more particularly in the case of 28 females and 32 males. When the level of poaching increased, «the pachyderms moved more during the night than during the day,» explained the study.
This change of habits demonstrate the adaptability of the elephants, the mammals of larger size on earth, but that «may have consequences on their ability to feed, reproduce and survive,» explained Ian Douglas-Hamilton, co-author of the study.
About 30,000 elephants are killed each year in Africa because of the illegal trafficking of ivory.