Satellite data shows extent of elephants’ crop raids

Satellite data shows extent of elephants’ crop raids

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Elephants roaming the parched plains of Africa’s national parks can get up to half their food by risky midnight raids into crop fields, according to scientists who tracked a herd by satellite monitoring using GPS. Conservationists working for Save the Elephants Foundation in Kenya hope that by understanding the elephants’ behaviour, they can improve ways of protecting farmers against damage caused by the animals, and in turn protect the elephants from angered farmers. The scientists tracked a herd of seven elephants by fitting them with GPS satellite tags as they wandered through the Samburu national reserve in Kenya. Tension between the local population and elephants had worsened in recent years as small-scale farmers have encroached on the parkland to grow crops.