Talk:Elephant/Archive 7

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Archive 6 Archive 7 Archive 8

Copyright violations

The sections "Reproduction" and "Motherhood and calf rearing" are copyright violations that were added in this edit almost three years ago. The evidence: the Wayback Machine shows that the Toledo Zoo had this on their page from at least April 2003. howcheng {chat} 17:47, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

It looks like you've removed the offending text. Is the copyvio tag still necessary? --NeilN talkcontribs 21:23, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
I guess not. If someone wants to rewrite those sections to avoid the copyright problem, then feel free to remove the notice. howcheng {chat} 21:42, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
It's pretty confusing as it stands now. There is no copyrighted text but the note says the article will be deleted within one week. --NeilN talkcontribs 01:48, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, that's because the template was built for whole-article copyvios. I don't think we have a section-only template. howcheng {chat} 04:13, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
That's because Wikipedia has historically not bothered to tag sections for copyvios. There's no reason to; you simply remove the offending text. It's different when the entire article is a copyvio, since some explanation is needed for a blank page. (talk) 16:37, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
The {{copyvio}} tag is for whole articles, and the entire article should be blanked if it's used because we want the copyright holder to know we're investigating and we take their copyright seriously. {{Copypaste}} is appropriate for sections and would have been a better choice here, but it's fine. Usually we revert to an earlier, non-infringing version of the article if it's just a section or a paragraph that's been added. If there's no untainted version of the article, though, we can delete the article and then undelete the versions that do not contain copyrighted text. That's not going to be necessary here - just rewrite it. Thanks. KrakatoaKatie 12:56, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Expansion on intelligence: art (painting, drawing in the wild)


I stumbled on a remarkable video of an elephant painting another elephant walking and holding a flower [1]. After reading a comment from someone asserting that elephants in fact do draw pictures in the sand of themselves in the wild, I came here to find out more, with no success. I'd be interested to see this expanded on a bit.

(Brandon Arnold (talk) 22:19, 28 March 2008 (UTC))

I would be interested too.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:52, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

So would I. This same subject came up in the human article when it was asserted that only humans are capable of creating art. Since there was no documentation to claim that elephants (or apes) could create art, the mention of the animals got pulled. Part of the reasoning was that they weren't actually creating art but were trained or pleasing their captors by doing art-like activities. Someone must have written about this art-in-the-wild, so some references must be out there. Bob98133 (talk) 19:47, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
I've seen that amazing video as well, but still I'm pretty sure that elephants do not produce art in the wild. It is, of course, unprovable that they've never done it, but a single counter-example would prove that they have, and if one existed, I would most likely have heard of it. However, the video appears to prove that they are easily intelligent enough to do it if it is rewarded. Hgmichna 08:48, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Not only do they not do it in the wild they almost don't do it at all. It requires a month of training and even then they can only replicate simple outlines —Preceding unsigned comment added by ILikeFish (talkcontribs) 18:31, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Classification issues

Are Anancus and Cuvieronius elephantids or gomphotheriids? This page claims that the two genera belong to the Elephantidae, but the page on the Gomphotheriidae claim that they belong there. Obviously they can't belong to both simultaneously. (talk) 02:56, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

They're gomphotheres. I'll go check and make corrections.--Mr Fink (talk) 04:12, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
So, I removed Subfamily Lophodontinae, as I doublechecked, and all those genera are indeed gomphotheres.--Mr Fink (talk) 04:22, 31 March 2008 (UTC)


Anyone know why the redlink category Category:South Africa-centric shows up on this article? I don't see it in the text of the article anywhere. Deli nk (talk) 20:54, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

It's being generated by the {{Globalizecountry|South Africa}} template at the top of the national parks section. Dave6 talk 08:00, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Propose a new link

Elephants is a lovely book published by the British Museum, illustrated using images drawn from the museum's vast collections. It provides a good insight into how humans across the globe have attempted to pay homage to and understand the elephant for many centuries, bringing together an array of written and visual material from diverse sources, and should definitely be included in the further reading section! Jemmam (talk) 12:25, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Mary the Elephant - Against All Odds is the charming and informative story of an orphan baby elephant (it's mother killed by poachers in Kenya) who was raised by humans at the Mt. Kenya Wildlife Conservancy and eventually successfully released into the wild. It seems to me a highly appropriate link - but I am biased as I am the webmaster at the web site in question so I leave to somebody else's good judgment whether or not to proceed. Thank you. Chuck @ (talk) 02:09, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

When should this article be unlocked?

Colbert's elephant bit is fading from our memories and episodes are not re-aired, so is it time to quietly unlock this page and see how it goes? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:55, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Do you think we could put a mention to the Colbert incident in the pop culture references section? I think that it is just a bit odd that there is still no mention of it in the actual article. Jljfuego (talk) 19:30, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

I am opposed to that suggestion. This article is about the animal, not about the silliness caused by Colbert's joke. -- Donald Albury 01:56, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
It is an example of elephants in popular culture though. I don't see why it shouldn't be mentioned at all. And Colbert's "joke" was actually quite clever. He pointed out a flaw in Wikipedia's design while poking fun at all the people who take things too seriously.
Colbert making this statement also brought visibility to the poaching and potential extinction of the Elephant. That makes what he did very relevant. Yes it was funny, but think about the number of people that had no idea that Elephants were endangered before the Colbert bit. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:26, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Jljfuego (talk) 23:20, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

I think many editors will argue with your characterization that Colbert pointed out a 'flaw' in Wikipedia's design (try proposing tighter controls on who can edit). -- Donald Albury 02:08, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it should be unlocked.... in all truth I came here to see if it was still locked, and to edit it if it wasn't to Colbert's joke. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:59, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
I strongly suggest to keep it locked, episodes are in fact re-aired, not that much, but during breaks when Colbert doesnt air new episodes. Plus I'm sure his page is viewed alot so people will find it there, and then come here to edit it. Disturbedfan24 (talk) 04:04, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
keep it locked, keep stephen colbert out of it. Stephen colbert doesnt have any significance to elephants, elephants DO have significance to colbert; this is why its explained on stephen colberts page, not this one. thuglasT|C 13:34, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
I would recommend keeping it locked. We watch the Wikiality video in our Research Writing class at IUP, so the idea to deface this article is still alive and well. The video can be found here: —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bubblesort (talkcontribs) 14:14, 24 February 2009 (UTC)


The intro has this sentence, "Adult elephants have no natural predators." I know that it was recently moved from lower in the article, but I don't think we say that. It has been reported that, in at least one location, lions successfully hunt elephants, including adult elephants. See [2], [3] and [4]. That last link is to a blog, and so can't be used. We really need for someone to access the Dereck Joubert article (listed here). I have seen the Planet Earth episode, and it is quite dramatic, but it is not clear how old the elephant that the lions take down is. -- Donald Albury 23:24, 17 July 2008 (UTC).

Ok, I read the article by Joubert (2006) in African journal in ecology. Out of 187 attacks observed on adult elephants, 1 resulted in the death of an adult (>15years old). This was a severely injured elephant (from a fight with another male) who was eventually killed by lions. I may change the intro to "Healthy adult elephants have no natural predators." --Seb951 (talk) 14:21, 18 July 2008 (UTC)seb951

Humans aren't natural predators? Just curious because in nearly every corner of the planet we are the apex predator now and people still poach elephants. Just curious on the definition of 'natural' there.--Senor Freebie (talk) 08:07, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
I thought that some adult females had been taken by lions, as well as the one adult male who had been seriously injured in a fight with another male. I also read that lions have been observed attacking healthy adult male elephants, but those attacks were unsuccessful. However, the Joubert article is the only reliable source I've heard of, and I haven't read it. -- Donald Albury 18:27, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Here is the result section from Joubert 2006. Lots of attacks, only one adult killed. If there is reliable info from other sources stating otherwise, you can gladly change the intro. --Seb951 (talk) 19:48, 18 July 2008 (UTC)


Over the 4 years, we observed a total of 74 elephants killed by lions, including eleven elephants in 1993, seventeen in 1994, nineteen in 1995, and 27 in 1996, suggesting an increasing hunting success rate. All the elephants killed, with one exception, were from breeding herds (females and young). The exception was an adult bull, previously wounded by another bull, who remained alive for several days before eventually being killed by the lions. The great majority of the young elephants killed were males, and two-thirds of the kills were of elephants in the age range 4–15 years, with highest hunting success achieved for elephants aged 4–9 years (Table 1). The animals killed were commonly on the periphery of, or straggling behind, the breeding herds, with nearly half killed more than 50 m away from the main herd. Hunts were less commonly attempted on calves which were under the age of 4 years, which remained more closely associated with their mothers. Hunting success for elephants older than 4 years apparently doubled from 33% (n = 9) in 1993 to 62% (n = 61) in 1996. Many attempts to kill adults bulls were made in 1996, when we saw lions attacking elephant bulls almost nightly although only one hunt was successful. All except one of the kills were made at night, and hunts occurred more commonly on dark moon nights than when the moon was bright.

 Table 1  Hunting attempts and success rates of lions on elephants (attempt means unsuccessful kills)

Sex of elephant Age class of elephant (years) Male Female unknown <1 1–2 2–4 4–9 9–15 >15 Adult


 Attempts  6       5       1       2       2       0       1       4       1       2
 Kills  3       4       1       1       3       1       1       2       0       0
 Total  9       9       2       3       5       1       2       6       1       2


 Attempts  11      2       1       1       1       0       3       1       1       7
 Kills  3       3       1       1       2       0       4       0       0       0
 Total  14      5       2       2       3       0       7       1       1       7


 Attempts  29      1       10      2       2       1       0       9       5       21
 Kills  4       6       3       0       0       2       8       3       0       0
 Total  33      7       13      2       2       3       8       12      5       21


 Attempts  149     4       30      2       1       1       0       5       18      156
 Kills  31      13      2       1       2       4       18      14      6       1
 Total  180     17      32      3       3       5       18      19      24      157


 Attempts  195     12      42      7       6       2       4       19      25      186
 Kills  41      26      7       3       7       7       31      19      6       1
 Total  236     38      49      10      13      9       35      38      31      187
 Success rate (%)       18      68      16      30      53      63      88      50      19      0.5

Quick-failed Good Article nomination

According to the quick-fail criteria, any article that has cleanup or expansion banners (such as the ones currently in National parks and Family classification) must be failed immediately and does not require an in-depth review. Please remedy any issues brought up by such banners and remove them before choosing to renominate the article. Despite not requiring a detailed review, I will take this time to point out that the article far from meets the GA criteria in terms of the use of in-line citations. There are many large sections that lack even a single citation, and this is unacceptable. For good basic verification, facts must be attributed to particular sources, even if it's just a single cite at the end of each paragraph. If you have any more questions, feel free to contact me. If you feel this review was in error, you may seek a reassessment. Thank you for your work so far, VanTucky 22:56, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Pop Culture Section

I think we should add one. Other articles that are about animals have pop culture sections, so why not this one? In this section, it can discuss Colbert. This may or may not help with the elephant tripling problem, but that's not the point. It would talk about elephants in pop culture and it would give Colbert's followers what they want. Footballfan190 (talk) 08:50, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

No. See WP:ASR. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 11:37, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, a short one at least. This what the section elephant in culture was about! but it got cut completely! I agree it needs trimming work and improvement in style, but just cutting it to avoid the problem is not a good solution either. Please bring it back and improve it! --Seb951 (talk) 18:40, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
I think the article is better off without a pop culture section. -- Donald Albury 23:02, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
What about a culture section? They don't have to be bad, look at Bird#Religion, folklore and culture. It is possible to write these sections well and make them relevant. I was expecting a reference to Ganesha, Shooting an Elephant, White Elephants and yes, even Dumbo. Once it has been written you need to keep an eye on it to stop things like "There was an elephant in an episode of Kim Possible" creeping in, but that shouldn't stop there from being a section in the first place. Sabine's Sunbird talk 23:31, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Irrespective of this discussion, removing the whole Elephants in culture section was definitely not the right solution to deal with the problem. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 09:57, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

I don't understand why the section was removed again since it does not contain any information about elephants in popular culture, so the argument most sentiments expressed on the talk page were against this is not valid. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 11:09, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Agreed! Argument most sentiments expressed on the talk page were against this is not valid since based on the talk page its a 4 against 2 decisions to have an elephant in culture section. So please bring it back and improve it! --Seb951 (talk) 12:53, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
I am opposed to having a pop culture section in this article. What part of "most" didn't make sense to you? if the vote is 4-2, then twice as many editors did NOT want the pop culture section as wanted it. This is "most". There is so much pop culture about elephants that it can easily swamp this article. Why not create a separate article? Bob98133 (talk) 13:32, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Firstly, it's not a vote. Secondly, the confusion here is that two sections were removed; "Elephants in culture", and "Elephants in popular culture". The latter is just worthless cruft and we're best rid of it. The former may, with some rewriting, be a valuable part of the article. But really, that whole section of the article needs reworked significantly. What could happen is that the cultural elements which were removed could be integrated with other sections; for instance, the veneration of war elephants could be moved into the war elephants section. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 13:49, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

This is why Colbert made this edit [[5]]. If you watch the clip from his show, you will clearly notice that he pulled out a laptop and edited Oregon and called it Idaho's Portugal. He even admitted to it. This was the only edit made in late July or early August of 2006 that made the statement that Oregon is Idaho's Portugal. Here is a clip to watch for proof [here]. (talk) 05:42, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Super, now why are you mentioning it here? There's not going to be a section for "Elephants in pop culture" just because Colbert made a joke on his tv show. It was funny, but we dont need to mention it here, that would just make more people want to edit it like Colbert said. Disturbedfan24 (talk) 04:06, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

If you wanna know way he did it ' he say in conan obrain show "I did't to see if i can" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:26, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Size contradictions

This passage has contradictory statements about the size of elephants.

Under the new two species classification, Loxodonta africana refers specifically to the Savanna Elephant, the largest of all elephants. In fact, it is the largest land animal in the world, standing 3.1 metres (10 ft) to 4 metres (13 ft) at the shoulder and weighing approximately 7,000 kilograms (15,000 lb). The average male stands about 3 metres (10 ft) tall at the shoulder and weighs about 5500 (12000 lb) to 6,000 kilograms (13,000 lb), the female being much smaller. Most often, Savanna Elephants are found in open grasslands, marshes, and lakeshores. They range over much of the savanna zone south of the Sahara. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:04, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

I found a couple of reliable sources and fixed it. -- Donald Albury 20:44, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

The number of elephants has tripled in the last 6 months though... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:56, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Article biased by animal activists

Reading through the Zoo and circus section, and pressing on edit, it seems someone wants Petas websites to get a higher page rank becuase of links from wikipedia.

The links are cleverly made in commented htlm and can therefore not be seen but its written like this:

<!-- Bot generated title -->]</ref><ref>[]</ref><ref>[]</ref><ref>[ The Elephant Sanctuary, Hohenwald, Tennessee<!-- Bot generated title -->

Theres also a lot of speculations, classical views from animal rights activists, which have no scientific value, and the only value here is to maanipulate the reader to dislike circuses, and its doubtful whether Wikipedi should take the role of manipulating peoples opinions?

Dan Koehl (talk) 22:37, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

By all means, correct any incorrect or unreferenced material and feel free to add new referenced material to improve the article. There has been a lot of discussion trying to keep the article fair and balanced. Sorry, I can't figure out what that link is that you've posted, but it doesn't look like it goes to a PETA website, unless it is an undercover web site or something. Whether the animal rights views are scientific or not is a separate question, but as long as the info is presented as their POV it doesn't really have to be scientific, just relevant and properly referenced. Bob98133 (talk) 15:17, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
Like this: "Thought to be symptomatic of stress disorders, rocking behavior may be a precursor to aggressive behavior in captive elephants"
Thats just speculations, may be, is word which could be used for just about any crazy theory, like:

...Informing people about the latest news, or bad wethers may create such traumatic feelings that the reporter may take suicide...

This is just unproofed thoughts, without any reliable scientific source backing it up, but still it leaves the reader that this is some sort of "facts".

dealing with organisations like PETA, who has a strong agenda, is very risky, when they are aloud to write facts articles about elephants in captivity, when everyone knows that they are fundamentally against zoos.

Dan Koehl (talk) 14:44, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

I looked at that text and checked the refs. 2 of them didn't work, so I deleted them. I see the other two refs are from organizations opposed to elephant captivity, so they definitely have a POV, however the text does say "thought to..." so it leaves open that this is opinion, not fact. I added a real ref about a barren environment possibly leading to an increase in rocking, but I agree that to be balanced this article should cite better sources than advocacy groups. If there are better sources that indicate the reasons for rocking and what it means, they should be used. I think the way that it is put, it doesn't claim to be absolute fact, but it does suggest that. Bob98133 (talk) 19:49, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

I'm concerned that a lot of deleting of references is taking place (also referring to the question by a lady elsewhere in this talk page). Wouldn't it be better to add new references that are better or a note next to the reference saying better references required? Once a ref is gone people have no access to that info and can't make up their own minds, build on it or further substantiate the reference. Surely it's better to have more information available rather than less? Isn't that the whole point of Wikipedia? If the link no longer works the url may still provides clues as to possible info sources if people do a search on that domain. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kitty346 (talkcontribs) 12:20, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Elephant birth captured on film | Video |

heads up

citation 62 is a dead link. (talk) 03:27, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

All better. -- Vary Talk 03:34, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Rocking behavior image

Devi (little princess), a 30-year-old Asian Elephant raised in captivity at the San Diego Zoo exhibiting "rocking behavior", a rhythmic and repetitive swaying which is unreported in free ranging wild elephants. Thought to be symptomatic of stress disorders, and probably made worse by a barren environment,[1] rocking behavior may be a precursor to aggressive behavior in captive elephants.

restored Image:Devi AsianElephant SanDiegoZoo 20071230 RockingBehaviour.gif and caption : Devi (little princess), a 30-year-old Asian Elephant raised in captivity at the San Diego Zoo exhibiting "rocking behavior", a rhythmic and repetitive swaying which is unreported in free ranging wild elephants. Thought to be symptomatic of stress disorders, and probably made worse by a barren environment,[2] rocking behavior may be a precursor to aggressive behavior in captive elephants.

This image has been here 11 months, is a good, low-res, low-framerate, small size, short, less-than-3mb image, which adds to the article's quality, and is illustrative of the subject matter in a way that a still image cannot be. There has been no consensus expressed on Talk:Elephant to remove it. User:Pedant (talk) 21:08, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

A 56K modem is faster, even in 2008, than what is available in many developing countries (including the United States, which has low broadband penetration) and worse still for mobile users. Without this image, page load and render time is over 3 minutes at 56K, with a total amount of downloaded data close to 800K. Three minutes is already bordering on unacceptable page load times. This 3MB image will push page load and render times upwards of ten minutes for a single page view. If you want to include animated GIFs as acceptable you'll need to change Wikipedia's operating guidelines (Wikipedia:IMGSIZE#Animated_images) and target audiences. Miami33139 (talk) 22:45, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
A good compromise would be to make a static image and a link to the animated one. But I think at the moment the image should probably be restored until someone with the required technical knowledge can do this. We should err on the side of having more content, rather than less in this case. siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 05:10, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
At 3MB, this page is unusable for low-bandwidth users. We should defer to the page being readable, not more cowbell. That means the image should stay out. Windows Paint will make a static image from an animated gif. You are welcome to do that. Miami33139 (talk) 05:17, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps you should do it, as you are the one currently lobbying for the removal of the image. Seem reasonable? siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 05:18, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and made the static version of the image. I'm not sure what the best way to link it is. I leave it for someone else to decide. siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 05:30, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

This looks like a great compromise decision. Nice work, everyone! --Kralizec! (talk) 13:31, 9 December 2008 (UTC)