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What do chillies and bees have in common?

Bee-Elle - African Wildlife Photography - Elephant

Elephants don’t like them.

Recently it’s been found that if you fill a condom with chilli powder, mix with sand for bulk and rocks for weight, and then launch the thing at the elephant, they’ll turn and walk away. It won’t hurt them, but with their sensitive sense of smell, they’ll apparently cough and sneeze as the chilli is just too irritating for their liking. I’m still unsure why condoms were selected as the chill grenade casing, as empty rubber scattered all over the place would be a pretty disgusting sight.

Perhaps bee fences might be the more aesthetically pleasing and effective alternative. Various farmers have successfully employed beehives along fences that swing to release bees when elephants forage in the area. The stings of bees has proven to deter even the largest of elephants- and furthermore, the honey provided by the hives can be onsold to markets, creating another income stream for farmers.

So there we have it: accessible and affordable ways to keep crop-raiding elephants at bay, and farmers happy.

That’s one small step towards reducing human-wildlife conflict, and one giant leap for helping to protect elephants.

#elephants #conservation #humanwildlifeconflict

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