The African Elephant has always been under threat from human poachers desiring ivory and meat. However, recent study has shown that elephants are starting to distinguish between different types of human contact.
Scientists from the University of Sussex played audio recordings of different humans to the mammals and found that they reacted differently depending on the voice.
For instance, in Africa the Maasi people generally encounter elephants more than the Kamba people. When the sound of Maasi people was played, the herd moved into a defensive formation. When the sound of the Kamba people was played, there was a less provoked reaction.
This shows that elephants can distinguish between humans that are threats and those that are not.
Moreover, elephants reacted in a more hostile manner to male voices than female sounds. This make sense as in local tribes, males are traditionally the hunter gathers and come in contact with a parade more often.
This study is the first of its kind and demonstrates the intelligence of elephants and will help in their continued conservation and protection.