Posted by: r.m. | October 20, 2009

our humanity in animals…

There are a number of books I’m intent on purchasing, including ‘Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals’ and ‘Ecology of Fear.’ In searching for those books, I came across this gem: Elephants on the Edge.

Images courtesy of Winnie Wintermeyer (author photo) and Cyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson.

Click here to visit the author’s website.

“Drawing on accounts from India to Africa and California to Tennessee, and on research in neuroscience, psychology, and animal behavior, G. A. Bradshaw explores the minds, emotions, and lives of elephants. Wars, starvation, mass culls, poaching, and habitat loss have reduced elephant numbers from more than ten million to a few hundred thousand, leaving orphans bereft of the elders who would normally mentor them. As a consequence, traumatized elephants have become aggressive against people, other animals, and even one another; their behavior is comparable to that of humans who have experienced genocide, other types of violence, and social collapse. By exploring the elephant mind and experience in the wild and in captivity, Bradshaw bears witness to the breakdown of ancient elephant cultures.

All is not lost. People are working to save elephants by rescuing orphaned infants and rehabilitating adult zoo and circus elephants, using the same principles psychologists apply in treating humans who have survived trauma. Bradshaw urges us to support these and other models of elephant recovery and to solve pressing social and environmental crises affecting all animals, human or not.



  1. elephants are interesting animals for me…i only saw them once in a circus…the idea of elephants becoming agressive is scary because it reflects human’s treatement of these animals which is becoming agressive as well….this is not a good conclusion…i dont think that animals and agressivity match…

  2. After attending the ecology class I came to realize that elephants are wonderful creatures and are very close to us, humans. I think that elephants have the right to turn violent after what they have been through, after all it is a normal reaction that any creature would have if agressed. It is pleasant to know that somebody out there is working to save them!

  3. The above comment is posted by me.

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