This BBC story about the poacher ‘killed’ by elephants and ‘eaten’ by lions is dead wrong.

Worse than wrong, even. It’s outright libel. Things didn’t happen that way.

A suspected rhino poacher has been trampled on by an elephant then eaten by a pride of lions in Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Accomplice poachers told the victim’s family that he had been killed by an elephant on Tuesday. Relatives notified the park ranger.

A search party struggled to find the body but eventually found a human skull and a pair of trousers on Thursday.

Continue reading This BBC story about the poacher ‘killed’ by elephants and ‘eaten’ by lions is dead wrong.

I would watch elephant soccer.

In fact, I would watch elephants generally. Because elephants are neat.  But baby elephants batting around a soccer ball?  That sounds very joyously restful.  You could have yourself a fine old time enjoying their enthusiasm.

[Insert obligatory soccer joke here.  I’d make one, except that I’ve just finished watching a bunch of baby elephants playing soccer.  I’m just not in the mood to be snarky.]

[Dagnabbit, had to spike this story.]

[It started requiring me to write more and more on a topic that I’d rather not write on, just in case I ever go back to looking for a job in that particular field. So, obviously, it wasn’t a post on politics and/or geekery.  Also, the more I looked at it the more I wondered why the Mob wasn’t involved.]

[Yes, this is all very mysterious.  I gotta give you people SOMETHING for clicking on the link, after all. Elephants stopping by the pool party* wouldn’t do it this time.]

[Moe Lane]

[*…Oh, all right.]

Don’t poach elephants.

OK, look, I suspect that the author of this is a tree-hugger. But even if she is…

People are shooting, poisoning, and spearing [elephants] at such a rate across the continent that some scientists already consider them “ecologically extinct.” There are now fewer than 500,000 wild African elephants—maybe no more than half that number—and barely 32,000 Asian elephants.

They cannot fight against us; they cannot win this battle.

And the horror of what is happening to them is surely compounded in their minds by the empathy they feel for one another—an emotion that scientists have at last been able to demonstrate experimentally in elephants.

Continue reading Don’t poach elephants.

Elephants have a sixth toe on each foot.

Here’s your science for the day:

A mysterious bony growth found in elephants’ feet is actually a sixth “toe”, scientists report.

For more than 300 years, the structure has puzzled researchers, but this study suggests that it helps to support elephants’ colossal weight.

Fossils reveal that this “pre-digit” evolved about 40 million years ago, at a point when early elephants became larger and more land-based.

That’s it; I just thought that you should know.

Moe Lane