September 17, 2020
When Elephants are Near
- as seen by -Alys Granados
Few things can bring such an abrupt stop to a day’s work in the forest than the possible danger of nearby forest elephants. The sound of breaking branches as they crash through the forest, the smell of dung (kind of smells like a barn), or even their vocalizations (trumpeting and low grumbles) can give them away. Other times they are surprisingly quiet.
Elephants are not to be messed with, and being in the presence of a startled elephant is the last place you want to be.
While studying giant forest hogs in the forest of western Uganda, we remained vigilant and kept our eyes and ears open for signs of elephants. Our amazing field assistants used their decades of experience in the forest to detect elephants before anyone else even heard or saw them and could even tell which direction the herd was moving in, keeping us all safe.