Mother Nature is the Best Teacher

Meet Kimani. He is a very large, bull elephant that likes to raid farmers' crops in Kenya, which effectively destroys families' ability to make a living.

Since the elephant is close to being listed on the Endangered Species list, what the Kenya Wildlife Service has done is install a cell phone SIM card in the elephant's collar. This card will send a text message to alert them when the elephant nears the geoborder via GPS tracking, and they run out and chase the elephant away.

It appears as though elephants learn from each other and remember what they have learned, so this technique is effectively reducing the elephants' raids on farms - with a lot of persistence and patience. So far, they have run this particular elephant off 15 times, but he hasn't hit a farm in over 4 months. The result: Kenyans and wildlife are able to coexist.

Reading Wikipedia's entry on elephant intelligence was fascinating, with a lot of research revealing a very intelligent, altruistic, emotional and thinking/problem solving animal with specific social behaviors that get them through their average 70-year lifespan.

Time and observation resulted in a viable, workable solution for both human and animal. It's a simple, effective solution that is without harm and that protects both species to live a peaceful coexistence. Yet there are differences in this scenario not often seen.

Yes, people were afraid of the elephants and for the loss of their year's income, but that is the only emotion involved. There was no hatred or blame or anger; just fear of losing a basic means of survival. Wildlife officials, more than likely spurred to problem solve by the elephants' protected status, found other ways to deal with the situation than killing the animals.  Of course it's a bit late in coming, but they finally came up with a solution that works.

There are so many ways that we could utilize this basic structure of problem-solving between races, genders, religions, etc. Observe, identify the problem, identify the needs of both parties, and come up with a solution that benefits both parties. I'm not feeling overly empathetic toward the people that caused the latest financial crisis, but using this model, I just might be open to a viable, workable, equitable solution. And, I find my tolerance for the government and the election process dwindling away too. It would work there as well.

We are an intelligent species, and we were intelligent before we learned to be so damned greedy and materialistic. There is a lesson here, not least of which is problem-solving instead of hatred and obliteration. This way of looking at things jumps over and past racism, discrimination, differences, contempt and disrespect. It's simple.


  1. I'm glad that they've come up with innovative ways to keep the elephants away from the farms. It's always hard to read (or even watch on tv) when the park rangers have no choice but to shoot the elephant bcoz it got too close to the humans...

  2. I agree. Reading up on elephant behavior, I learned that they are not really aggressive towards anything or anyone, though I do suppose they are like any other in that they will either run or fight when they can't run.