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African Elephant - Loxodonta africana The beautiful matriarch<br />
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Habitat: Roger Williams Zoo<br />
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 African bush elephant,Geotagged,Loxodonta africana,Spring,United States,captive animal,elephant,zoo Click/tap to enlarge

    comments (11)

  1. Awesome portrait! Posted 7 months ago
    1. Thanks! I know that I'm anthropomorphizing, but I do think that animals feel emotion and I swear that I can see sadness in her eyes. I feel that way about animals living in most zoos. This elephant was the matriarch and she has since died. Posted 7 months ago
      1. I totally understand how you feel. I think a lot of zoo animals are depressed, and the higher the intelligence, the stronger the psychological effect. I believe for elephants specifically it's proven that they are emotional beings. I'd speculate its true for most mammals and we can also see and recognize it in some birds, specifically parrots. And that's just what we can see, which doesn't mean the rest has no emotional damage from being locked up.

        Since we're both cat owners, I'll not shy away from the uncomfortable truth that most cats (or so I've read, can't guarantee full accuracy but it sounded credible) are also depressed in one way or another for we take away their entire essence when we feed them. Their essence being a solitary, highly skilled predator. It will of course vary per situation as some cats fully roam free, some roam a little, some are locked up always.
        Posted 7 months ago
        1. Agreed. Their eyes look like the life has been sucked out of them. My older son gets very emotional at zoos and can't bear to visit them. He cries at the thought of the animals being in there, which I understand and definitely relate to. But, as he gets older, I think that he'll see that it's not all black and white when it comes to zoos.

          Interesting about cats. I definitely can see that point as being valid. They are definitely moody and often seem depressed. My cats have never been outside except to go to the vet. They love to hunt birds through the window and will attack lint with impressive ferocity, but they love having their food delivered to their dish (I think) and will give me the death stare if their dinner is a few minutes late. I'm not sure they would enjoy hunting, but then again, they don't know what they are missing. I also tend to see cats as all having Asperger's.
          Posted 7 months ago
          1. I have the same mixed feelings when being in a zoo. Sad to see the state of animals, but also sad to see people's typical behavior in zoos, seemingly not showing any real interest in the animal or to learn anything about it. But I suppose I'm biased, I can't expect everyone to share my interests. I find some comfort in knowing many zoos do have conservation efforts in breeding programs and education.

            As for cats, I can share a personal observation which is of course no basis for a generalization but I did find it telling. Our cat Spyke is a cat Henriette already had when I met her. I moved in with Henriette who lived in a small apartment high up. He was alone most of the day whilst we were at work and his "outside" experience was a tiny balcony from which he never made any effort to escape. An "inhouse" cat, I thought. Always grumpy, moody, never playful or showing much energy or initiative. You know, fitting the internet stereo type of cats being "assholes" and finding that charming.

            Then we bought a real house, with a real backyard having some green and from the front door, a whole word to explore. He transformed in 2 weeks into an entirely new creature. Wild, tough, proud, playful and extremely active. He'd spent most of his time outside, establishing a real kingdom. He'd bring back 2 or 3 dead mice per night, and I've read this is usually 1/4th of their actual catch.

            Because of this experience, I no longer believer there is such a thing as an inhouse cat. I believe instincts are within every cat, and that instinct is to roam around outside and find their own food. But of course, this is just a single example and another factor is that cats can have wildly different personalities.

            I do want to add that letting cats roam free in an urban area is still tolerated where I live but general tolerance is decreasing. People have short fuses these days when cats cause minor disturbances. As such, I think there's already plenty of locations in the world where it's not accepted and you need to keep them in, or on a leash.

            So I totally understand if it's not always possible to give them full freedom, in that case experts suggest to keep them mentally happy by stimulating their natural behavior indoors.

            Pfff, who would have thought that I'd ever turn into a cat person :)
            Posted 7 months ago
            1. Ugh, I totally agree! It really irks me that people don't take more time or interest when at a zoo!

              Your cat story reminded me of a cat that I once had when I was a kid. When we first got him, we lived in a small, urban house where he couldn't safely go outside. He seemed fine with it. But, then we moved to a house with a huge yard and forest. We let him out. He was scared at first, but within a day or so, he loved it - he would zoom across the yard and up trees and his personality changed as well. He became happier and prouder. So, I tend to agree with your assessment that there is always a wild cat within.

              Letting cats roam free is frowned upon where I live as they generally either end up run over or killed by wild animals. People also complain because the outdoor cats kill birds and chipmunks that are attracted to people's yards because of bird feeders. Some states and towns will even fine people if they feed stray cats without getting them vetted and sterilized as well. We don't let our cats outside because even though we live in a semi-rural area, there are a lot of foxes, coyotes, and bobcats. Cats tend to disappear pretty quickly when let outside around here and my neighbor lost her cat not too long ago. But, perhaps someday, when we move, my cats will be able to explore their wild side :)
              Posted 7 months ago
              1. I keep forgetting how in the US there's still some big predators roaming around who may go after your pet. No such thing here.

                Most complaints here is cats crapping in somebodies' garden, and their preference to always do it in the same garden :) Or not respecting boundaries and just hanging out in somebody else's garden, given their climbing abilities.

                I can somewhat understand the crapping complaint, but on the other hand, most earth in gardens is covered in crap. Of birds, insects. People buy "crap" to make their plants grow so not need to obsess over it. This one can easily be solved though with what we call "cat pepper". It's some dusty powder to deposit on a boundary and cats will hate it so much as to never come again. Another tactic is spraying them hard with a garden hose, they won't forget :)

                An absolute no-go violation here is cats eating expensive fish. Some people have ponds with decorative fishes in them.

                Posted 7 months ago
                1. The different issues between countries is so interesting! I never hear people complaining about cat poop in their yards. Dog poop is the common complaint here. Too many people don't pick it up. I live in an apartment building and we have to watch our step out in the yard because it's full of dog land mines. I sound like a broken record saying, "don't step in poop" every time we wander our shared yard.

                  I agree though, and people are so weird. Like you said, they literally buy poop to spread in their gardens, what is the big deal about some cat poop? I have never heard of cat pepper, but I do know people who have motion sensored sprinklers in their gardens to blast wildlife (and pets) that dare try to walk through. And, I never thought of cats eating koi fish! I have never even heard of them trying to do this. Dutch cats must be more bold than American cats!
                  Posted 7 months ago
                  1. Oh, and I have lost several pets to predators. Hearing the cats scream as they are taken is a terrible and unforgettable sound. My Dad just recently lost two cats to a fox, and I have actually seen foxes snatch cats out of backyards. It's an awful sight for sure. Posted 7 months ago
                    1. My heart would break if I'd experience that, truly. Animal suffering is my weakness, it pushes all buttons at once. Our main predator is cars, this is a very crowded country. Posted 7 months ago
                      1. For me as well. I can't stand to see animals suffer. Posted 7 months ago

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The African bush elephant is the larger of the two species of African elephant. Both it and the African forest elephant have usually been classified as a single species, known simply as the African elephant, but recent evidence has seen the forest elephant classified as a distinct species . Some authorities still consider the currently available evidence as insufficient for splitting African elephants into two species.

Similar species: Elephants
Species identified by Christine Young
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By Christine Young

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Uploaded Jan 1, 2019. Captured Jun 2, 2013 10:15 in 25 Dorrance St, Providence, RI 02903, USA.
  • Canon EOS 7D
  • f/5.6
  • 1/166s
  • ISO250
  • 105mm