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After a rogue elephant killed 17 people in India, locals knew it had to be stopped. Once the animal was killed, DNA tests on the contents of its stomach revealed something even more terrifying: the elephant had consumed human flesh.
Intelligence Main article: Elephant intelligence Human, pilot whale and elephant brains up to scale. (1)-cerebrum (1a)-temporal lobe and (2)-cerebellum. With a mass just over 5 kg (11 lb), elephant brains are larger than those of any other land animal. A wide variety of behaviours associated with intelligence have been attributed to elephants, including those associated with grief, making music, art, altruism, allomothering, play, use of tools, compassion and self-awareness. Elephants may be on a par with other intelligent species, such as cetaceans and nonhuman primates. The largest areas in the elephant brain are those responsible for hearing, smell and movement coordination.
Today, it is difficult for elephants to live outside protected parks as they are pressured by poachers and by the habitat loss that comes with increasing human settlement.
Did You Know? The elephant is distinguished by its high level of intelligence, interesting behavior, methods of communication and complex social structure. Elephants seem to be fascinated with the tusks and bones of dead elephants, fondling and examining them. The myth that they carry them to secret "elephant burial grounds," however, has no factual base. Elephants are very social, frequently touching and caressing one another and entwining their trunks. Elephants demonstrate concern for members of their families they take care of weak or injured members and appear to grieve over a dead companion.
All across Africa, India, and Southeast Asia, elephants have been striking out, destroying villages and crops, and attacking and killing human beings. In recent years, elephants have killed nearly 1,000 people in India. In Africa, reports of human-elephant conflicts appear almost daily, from Zambia to Tanzania, and Uganda to Sierra Leone. "Where for centuries humans and elephants lived in relatively peaceful coexistence, there is now hostility and violence," says Gay Bradshaw, an elephant researcher and psychologist at Oregon State University.