Elephants Afraid of Drones

This is from yesterday’s i  paper, and is confusing reading as a recent report claimed that drones were being used to protect and monitor endangered elephants:

Elephants have a deep-rooted dislike of drones, researchers have confirmed.

Staff from Duke University in the USA were hoping to use the unmanned aircraft to monitor the elephant population in Gabon on Africa’s West coast. But when danes were flown above the herd the result was agitation and, in some cases, naked fear. One female elephant used her trunk to hurl mud at a drone before joining the rest of the herd in a mass getaway.

Studies suggest elephant have an antipathy for drones because the sound of the small aircraft reminds them of bees. In sports of Africa, bee-hive fences are used to protect crops from hungry elephants. While the elephants’ bulk keeps them safe from many larger predators, African bees can inflict painful stings on unprotected areas such as eyes, ears and the inside of trunks.

The team from Duke is conducting further research on exactly how similar the sounds of drones and bees are.

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