Elephants Are Self-Aware.

jillian

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Admin posted this article and I thought it was pretty interesting. My husband ued to work with Happy, Patty and Maxine (Tuss and Sami, too, but they're both gone now). And he always said that if you handed the elephants the keys to the enclosure, they'd figure out how to use them to open the locks.

He also said that he didn't think elephants belonged in captivity because they were cognizant of their situaton and didn't like it one bit.... although he got along with them very well for the time he was at the Bronx Zoo.

Anyhow... thought it was pretty cool.

WASHINGTON - If you're Happy and you know it, pat your head. That, in a peanut shell, is how a 34-year-old female Asian elephant in the Bronx Zoo showed researchers that pachyderms can recognize themselves in a mirror — complex behavior observed in only a few other species.

The test results suggest elephants — or at least Happy — are self-aware. The ability to distinguish oneself from others had been shown only in humans, chimpanzees and, to a limited extent, dolphins.

That self-recognition may underlie the social complexity seen in elephants, and could be linked to the empathy and altruism that the big-brained animals have been known to display, said researcher Diana Reiss, of the Wildlife Conservation Society, which manages the Bronx Zoo.

In a 2005 experiment, Happy faced her reflection in an 8-by-8-foot mirror and repeatedly used her trunk to touch an "X" painted above her eye. The elephant could not have seen the mark except in her reflection. Furthermore, Happy ignored a similar mark, made on the opposite side of her head in paint of an identical smell and texture, that was invisible unless seen under black light.

"It seems to verify for us she definitely recognized herself in the mirror," said Joshua Plotnik, one of the researchers behind the study. Details appear this week on the Web site of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Still, two other zoo elephants, Maxine and Patty, failed to touch either the visible or invisible "X" marks on their heads in two runs of the experiment. But all three adult female elephants at the zoo behaved while in front of the jumbo mirror in ways that suggested they recognized themselves, said Plotnik, a graduate student at Emory University in Atlanta.

Maxine, for instance, used the tip of her trunk to probe the inside of her mouth while facing the mirror. She also used her trunk to slowly pull one ear toward the mirror, as if she were using the reflection to investigate herself. The researchers reported not seeing that type of behavior at any other time.
*More*

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061031/ap_on_sc/self_aware_elephant
 

onedomino

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Yes, very interesting. Saw a similar article in Science Daily. Elephants now join dolphins and primates as giving evidence of being self-aware. The "mirror" tests seem convincing. It certainly puts a new light on keeping such animals in captivity. Is it not unethical to hold a self-aware animal in confinement?
 

Bullypulpit

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And then there are the ethics of killing these animals, either through negligence, as with dolphins caught in tuna nets, or malificence as with the willful destruction of chimpamzees and elephants as well as their habitat. These are fellow sentient beings...It is immoral to kill them.
 
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jillian

jillian

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I know in working with them, my husband always felt they didn't belong in captivity from a safety standpoint, as well. He said they didn't like their circumstances and, if they didn't respect a keeper, it would be very dangerous.

As for the primates, he actually didn't have a problem with that. Their response to their environment was very different from the elephants. They didn't have the same resentment about it because their enclosures approximate their place in the wild and are safer for them. He felt the elephants had a different level of awareness. And, to be honest, he really didn't like the primates..... said they were nasty creatures who were among the few in nature who engaged in violence for "fun". On the other hand, he wasn't a primate keeper..... (although there was a male baboon who had a crush on him. heh!)
 

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Congo's park rangers vs. Kony's elephant poachers...

Armed groups target elephants in Congo park
Nov 8,`15 -- The eight suspected poachers stood under a tree, apparently unaware they were being tracked by 10 rangers from Congo's Garamba National Park. But as the rangers approached, gunfire rang out from the tall grass nearby, where other heavily armed men were hidden. The dragnet swiftly turned into a desperate fight for survival.
The shootout last month, in which three rangers and a Congolese army colonel were killed, highlights the challenge of protecting parks in a part of Africa plagued for decades by insurgencies, civil war, refugee flows and weak governments. It shows how some conservation efforts resemble a kind of guerrilla warfare in which rangers and soldiers stalk - and are stalked by - poachers who are slaughtering Africa's elephants and other wildlife. Such violence is not confined to Garamba in northeastern Congo, on the border with South Sudan. Farther south, in Congo's Virunga National Park, assailants killed a ranger last month and another died in a militia attack there in August.

More than 200 elephants have been poached in Garamba since a census in April 2014 counted 1,780 elephants - down from more than 11,000 two decades ago. The park is one of only a handful of sites in Congo with "a viable population of elephants," despite the loss of many large mammals over the past five decades, said Bas Huijbregts, an expert with the World Wildlife Fund conservation group. Garamba was also once known as home to the last northern white rhinos in the wild, though none have been seen there for years.

An earlier generation of poachers in Garamba killed with spears. Today's intruders carry grenades and rocket launchers, and in some cases, have even targeted elephants from helicopters. These gunmen have turned a world heritage site the United Nations defines as "in danger" into a spot where deadly skirmishes are likely to forestall significant tourism for quite some time. "The threat is now completely militarized," said Leon Lamprecht, operations director for African Parks, a non-profit group based in Johannesburg that took over management of the 1,890-square-mile (4,900-square-kilometer) park a decade ago.

Garamba's 120 rangers, backed by up to 60 Congolese soldiers, are trying to ward off rebels from nearby South Sudan, as well as ivory hunters and militias from Sudan and the Lord's Resistance Army, a Ugandan rebel group led by warlord Joseph Kony, who is accused of war crimes. Kony's fighters are killing Garamba's elephants and trading the ivory tusks for ammunition, food and uniforms in Sudanese-controlled territory, according to a report released last month by Enough Project, a watchdog group, whose findings were based on interviews with rebel defectors. The U.S. military is assisting African forces pursuing the Lord's Resistance Army, and a U.N. peacekeeping mission of about 20,000 troops is deployed in eastern Congo, where many armed groups operate.

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Spinster

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They say elephants never forget, so if that's the case wouldn't it follow they'd recognize themselves in a mirror?
 

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10 animals (so far) that have been identified as being self aware by the "mirror test".

Humans, Orangutans, Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Bottlenose Dolphins, Elephants, Orcas, Bonobos, Rhesus, Macaques, European Magpies

The Mirror Test

Developed in the 1970s, the experimenter discreetly marks the animal with a colored dye, or puts a colored dot on their forehead. The animal is then presented with a mirror and their reaction is observed.
If an animal is self-aware they'll turn and adjust their body to get a better view and touch the colored spot or try to remove it. This proves that the animal understands the reflection is its own.
 

Delta4Embassy

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Admin posted this article and I thought it was pretty interesting. My husband ued to work with Happy, Patty and Maxine (Tuss and Sami, too, but they're both gone now). And he always said that if you handed the elephants the keys to the enclosure, they'd figure out how to use them to open the locks.

He also said that he didn't think elephants belonged in captivity because they were cognizant of their situaton and didn't like it one bit.... although he got along with them very well for the time he was at the Bronx Zoo.

Anyhow... thought it was pretty cool.

WASHINGTON - If you're Happy and you know it, pat your head. That, in a peanut shell, is how a 34-year-old female Asian elephant in the Bronx Zoo showed researchers that pachyderms can recognize themselves in a mirror — complex behavior observed in only a few other species.

The test results suggest elephants — or at least Happy — are self-aware. The ability to distinguish oneself from others had been shown only in humans, chimpanzees and, to a limited extent, dolphins.

That self-recognition may underlie the social complexity seen in elephants, and could be linked to the empathy and altruism that the big-brained animals have been known to display, said researcher Diana Reiss, of the Wildlife Conservation Society, which manages the Bronx Zoo.

In a 2005 experiment, Happy faced her reflection in an 8-by-8-foot mirror and repeatedly used her trunk to touch an "X" painted above her eye. The elephant could not have seen the mark except in her reflection. Furthermore, Happy ignored a similar mark, made on the opposite side of her head in paint of an identical smell and texture, that was invisible unless seen under black light.

"It seems to verify for us she definitely recognized herself in the mirror," said Joshua Plotnik, one of the researchers behind the study. Details appear this week on the Web site of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Still, two other zoo elephants, Maxine and Patty, failed to touch either the visible or invisible "X" marks on their heads in two runs of the experiment. But all three adult female elephants at the zoo behaved while in front of the jumbo mirror in ways that suggested they recognized themselves, said Plotnik, a graduate student at Emory University in Atlanta.

Maxine, for instance, used the tip of her trunk to probe the inside of her mouth while facing the mirror. She also used her trunk to slowly pull one ear toward the mirror, as if she were using the reflection to investigate herself. The researchers reported not seeing that type of behavior at any other time.
*More*

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061031/ap_on_sc/self_aware_elephant

A number of animals are documented as sentient or self-aware. Orcas are another.
 
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jillian

jillian

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Admin posted this article and I thought it was pretty interesting. My husband ued to work with Happy, Patty and Maxine (Tuss and Sami, too, but they're both gone now). And he always said that if you handed the elephants the keys to the enclosure, they'd figure out how to use them to open the locks.

He also said that he didn't think elephants belonged in captivity because they were cognizant of their situaton and didn't like it one bit.... although he got along with them very well for the time he was at the Bronx Zoo.

Anyhow... thought it was pretty cool.

WASHINGTON - If you're Happy and you know it, pat your head. That, in a peanut shell, is how a 34-year-old female Asian elephant in the Bronx Zoo showed researchers that pachyderms can recognize themselves in a mirror — complex behavior observed in only a few other species.

The test results suggest elephants — or at least Happy — are self-aware. The ability to distinguish oneself from others had been shown only in humans, chimpanzees and, to a limited extent, dolphins.

That self-recognition may underlie the social complexity seen in elephants, and could be linked to the empathy and altruism that the big-brained animals have been known to display, said researcher Diana Reiss, of the Wildlife Conservation Society, which manages the Bronx Zoo.

In a 2005 experiment, Happy faced her reflection in an 8-by-8-foot mirror and repeatedly used her trunk to touch an "X" painted above her eye. The elephant could not have seen the mark except in her reflection. Furthermore, Happy ignored a similar mark, made on the opposite side of her head in paint of an identical smell and texture, that was invisible unless seen under black light.

"It seems to verify for us she definitely recognized herself in the mirror," said Joshua Plotnik, one of the researchers behind the study. Details appear this week on the Web site of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Still, two other zoo elephants, Maxine and Patty, failed to touch either the visible or invisible "X" marks on their heads in two runs of the experiment. But all three adult female elephants at the zoo behaved while in front of the jumbo mirror in ways that suggested they recognized themselves, said Plotnik, a graduate student at Emory University in Atlanta.

Maxine, for instance, used the tip of her trunk to probe the inside of her mouth while facing the mirror. She also used her trunk to slowly pull one ear toward the mirror, as if she were using the reflection to investigate herself. The researchers reported not seeing that type of behavior at any other time.
*More*

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061031/ap_on_sc/self_aware_elephant

A number of animals are documented as sentient or self-aware. Orcas are another.
high intellect animals. I thought the story about happy, patty and Maxine was particularly interesting because my husband always said he thought if you handed them the keys to their installation, they would figure out how to use them and let themselves out.

great animals.
 

Wry Catcher

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Admin posted this article and I thought it was pretty interesting. My husband ued to work with Happy, Patty and Maxine (Tuss and Sami, too, but they're both gone now). And he always said that if you handed the elephants the keys to the enclosure, they'd figure out how to use them to open the locks.

He also said that he didn't think elephants belonged in captivity because they were cognizant of their situaton and didn't like it one bit.... although he got along with them very well for the time he was at the Bronx Zoo.

Anyhow... thought it was pretty cool.

WASHINGTON - If you're Happy and you know it, pat your head. That, in a peanut shell, is how a 34-year-old female Asian elephant in the Bronx Zoo showed researchers that pachyderms can recognize themselves in a mirror — complex behavior observed in only a few other species.

The test results suggest elephants — or at least Happy — are self-aware. The ability to distinguish oneself from others had been shown only in humans, chimpanzees and, to a limited extent, dolphins.

That self-recognition may underlie the social complexity seen in elephants, and could be linked to the empathy and altruism that the big-brained animals have been known to display, said researcher Diana Reiss, of the Wildlife Conservation Society, which manages the Bronx Zoo.

In a 2005 experiment, Happy faced her reflection in an 8-by-8-foot mirror and repeatedly used her trunk to touch an "X" painted above her eye. The elephant could not have seen the mark except in her reflection. Furthermore, Happy ignored a similar mark, made on the opposite side of her head in paint of an identical smell and texture, that was invisible unless seen under black light.

"It seems to verify for us she definitely recognized herself in the mirror," said Joshua Plotnik, one of the researchers behind the study. Details appear this week on the Web site of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Still, two other zoo elephants, Maxine and Patty, failed to touch either the visible or invisible "X" marks on their heads in two runs of the experiment. But all three adult female elephants at the zoo behaved while in front of the jumbo mirror in ways that suggested they recognized themselves, said Plotnik, a graduate student at Emory University in Atlanta.

Maxine, for instance, used the tip of her trunk to probe the inside of her mouth while facing the mirror. She also used her trunk to slowly pull one ear toward the mirror, as if she were using the reflection to investigate herself. The researchers reported not seeing that type of behavior at any other time.
*More*

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061031/ap_on_sc/self_aware_elephant
Phew, I glad you cleared this thread up, at first blush I thought you were claiming Republicans were aware, or that you left out part of the word (selfishly aware).

When I was in Kindergarten (1953) kids in SF Public Schools brought pennies to school to help the SF Zoo in the purchase/care of Pennie, an Asian Elephant who lived there until her death only a few years ago. I met Pennie a few years later on a cub scout outing to the zoo, our Den was able to enter her enclosure and feed her by hand, a remarkable experience.
 

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