Elephant conservation

We discuss the threats to African and Asian elephants, the illegal ivory trade, what we're learning about their minds and social lives, and their relationship with people.

Listen 49:13
(AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

(AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

Guests: Jacob Shell, Andrew Dobson

In recent years scientists have learned a lot about elephants – about their rich social lives and their keen intelligence: they use of tools, have amazing memories, mourn their dead, and show empathy. But these highly social and smart mammals continue to be threatened by poaching, the illegal ivory trade, human conflict, and habitat destruction. This hour, we discuss the health of Earth’s largest land mammal – both the African and Asian elephant. We’ll talk about elephant behavior and get the latest on conservation efforts. We’ll also discuss poaching in Africa and the crackdown on the illegal ivory trade. And, we’ll look at the complicated working relationship between people and the elephants in the forests of India and Myanmar, along with the pros and cons of elephant ecotourism. Our guests are Temple University geography professor JACOB SHELL, the author of a new book Giants of the Monsoon Forest, and ANDREW DOBSON, a professor of ecology at Princeton University who studies the conservation of endangered and threatened species.

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