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World Africa 28 Nov 2016 In Africa, tuskless ...

In Africa, tuskless jumbos emerge

AGENCIES
Published Nov 28, 2016, 2:16 am IST
Updated Nov 28, 2016, 7:15 am IST
Human poaching for ivory has altered animal’s design.
Poachers target tusked elephants, the tuskless gene is being passed on to babies.
 Poachers target tusked elephants, the tuskless gene is being passed on to babies.

London: With poachers continuing to target African elephants for ivory, ferocious wild jumbos, which have escaped man’s attempts to domesticate them, are now giving birth to tuskless offsprings.

“In some areas, 98 per cent of female elephants now have no tusks compared to between two and six per cent born tuskless on average in the past,” an expert was quoted as saying by The Times.

 

This change in the African elephant’s gene could be a live play out of Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection, which says living things adjust their natural design to survive in the environment that they live in.

In the past 10 years, over 1.5 lakh elephants have been killed in Africa illegally by ivory smugglers to meet the growing demand from Asia, especially from China. In Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park alone, 90 per cent of elephants were slaughtered between 1977 and 1992.

While not having tusks could save elephants from becoming extinct, the researchers claim that it is not ideal as they are “used for digging for food and water, to dig up trees and branches and move them around, for self-defence and for sexual display.”

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