Playbacks have been used for many years to explore the behavioural responses of African elephants to a suspected natural threat. However, the research published in Current Biology, is the first time this technique has been used to record how Asian elephants react to the sound of bees.
The study, led by Dr Lucy King, a Research Associate with the Department of Zoology at Oxford University and head of the Human-Elephant Co-Existence Program for Save the Elephants, showed that Asian elephants responded with alarm to the bee simulations. They also retreated significantly further away and vocalised more in response to the bee sounds compared to controls.
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