ad info

 custom news
 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 CNN programs
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

CNN Websites
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines

 message boards




Central Africa's secretive forest elephants

August 26, 1999
Web posted at: 8:40 p.m. EDT (0040 GMT)

From Correspondent Gary Strieker

DZANGA-NDOKI NATIONAL PARK, Central African Republic (CNN) -- In a forest clearing, elephants come for salt and for company.

CNN's Gary Strieker reports on Africa's forest elephants
Windows Media 28K 80K

Normally shy and reclusive in the dark forest, they show little fear of observers, although some will complain by issuing a trumpet call or charging.

In the rainforests of Central Africa, these elephants have long guarded their secrets from outsiders.

"The great difficulty in studying elephants in this environment is the vegetation," says Andrea Turkalo of the Wildlife Conservation Society, who has studied forest elephants for nine years. "It's so dense that even if you get a glimpse of an elephant it's never sustained, and they usually run away as soon as they hear you."

Turkalo observes the elephants at the remote Dzanga Bai clearing, a 30-acre deposit of mineral salts beneath the sand.

It is only in such a clearing, where they gather in large numbers, that the elephants can be easily observed.

Africa's forest elephants are different from their more common savannah cousins. They're smaller, making them attractive to hunters and land-hungry farmers.

Their ivory is said to be of the highest quality. As the forest is fragmented and penetrated by human settlements, these animals are prime targets.

But for now, in this part of Central Africa, forest elephants are safe, protected by a national park that lies in a distant region with few roads and few people with guns.

It's a place where an elephant can still be curious about humans, with no reason to fear.

Abuse charges lead to tug-of-war over South African elephants
July 22, 1999
Sri Lanka's elephants charm visitors
December 26, 1998
S. African judge orders elephants removed from owner
December 2, 1998

Wildlife Conservation Society
National Council of SPCAs of Southern Africa
Wildlife Africa-African Wildlife Pictures, Tourism and Conservation in Africa
African Elephants
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.