Elephants DEVELOP to not breed tusks after years of hunting

Research has shown that elephants do not grow with their tusks after years of being hounded and killed by poachers.
Nearly 90 percent of African elephants in Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park were slaughtered for funding firearms in the country's civil war for their ivory.
But one-third of women – the generation born after the end of the war in 1992 – have no tusks.
Male elephant tusks are bigger and heavier, but due to increasing poaching, hunters focused on the females.
Joyce Poole, scientific director of a nonprofit organization called ElephantVoices, told National Geographic, "Over time, with the elderly, you're starting to get that really higher percentage of cockless women."
In other countries, the number of elephants with tusks has also changed.
In South Africa, 98 percent of the 174 women in Addo Elephant National Park reportedly did not breed tusks in the early 2000s.
Poaching has also reduced the size of the tusk in some highly hunted areas, such as in southern Kenya.
Scientists say the elephants with this handicap may change their behavior.
Tusks are used for digging water or barking trees for food, so the mammals may travel on to survive.
However, the researchers say that changes in the way elephants live could have a bigger impact on the ecosystems around them.
Ryan Long, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Idaho, told National Geographic: "Any or all of these behavioral changes could lead to a change in the distribution of elephants in the landscape, and there are likely to be far-reaching changes to the rest of the ecosystem to have. "
The number of elephants has shown the lasting effect people have on animals.
Read more: www.nationalgeog …

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