Red Hot Chillies May Save Elephants from Being Killed by Humans

Red Hot Chillies May Save Elephants from Being Killed by Humans

Throughout India and Africa, increasing conflict between humans and elephants has led to hundreds of deaths per year for both species. As elephants forage for food, villagers fight to defend their farms, resulting in brutal violence.

Elephants have been under attack for decades from a range of human threats: poachers in the ivory trade, circuses, zoos, tourist entertainment industries, and the destruction of their forest habitats. Increasingly desperate for survival, elephants are forced to search for food outside the territory left to them. In Africa, elephants have even begun to adapt to a nocturnal lifestyle in order to avoid being murdered.

It is a miracle that elephants are still here. Although efforts have been put forth to protect them in both India and Africa, horrific injustices against these gentle giants continue to occur.

Just recently, an award-winning photograph went viral of a baby elephant set on fire by an angry mob in West Bengal, India. This torture is common in regions throughout India, and is only growing worse as the conflict increases.

For the sake of the lives of both people and elephants, the problem needs to be solved.

And red hot chillies may be the answer.

Research done by Dr. Dr Rocío Pozo of the University of Stirling reveals that briquettes, made from red hot chillies and elephant dung, can keep elephants from raiding villages and farms.

When burned, the briquettes deter the animals, restricting their foraging habits.

Dr. Pozo conducted a five-month study in the eastern Okavango Panhandle in Botswana, where over 600 briquettes were tested in 10 separate sites within a 20-mile radius. Dr. Pozo and her team monitored the sites morning and night, and used camera traps to track the elephants.

The results indicate that burning the briquettes is a nonviolent, cost-effective way to prevent unwanted visits from elephants.

University of Stirling

It’s a simple solution to a deadly problem. These briquettes are cheap and easy to replicate, meaning that villages anywhere can try this out for themselves. Dr. Pozo’s idea is already being implemented in other areas across Africa and has proved successful, at least in the short-term.

With the help of these briquettes, there is hope for the elephants trying to live in close proximity to humans. Thanks to Dr. Pozo and her team, elephants and people will now find more peace in their coexistence. Hopefully, as we continue to make more efforts to save them, these gentle creatures will not only continue to survive, but thrive.



Note: Please keep comments peaceful and family friendly.

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15 Comments

  1. Joni Rae Wirts

    The challenge now is getting this information out and getting the product to the people who should use it. Is there a program that you know of trying to accomplish this? I would like to volunteer to help this cause.

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  2. Terry

    They’ll thrive?? No, not as long as there’s still poachers. Now — to find a way to repel or kill off the poachers!!

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  3. Lynn

    The Pope should encourage these people to take precautions (as a lot are Catholic)they can’t feed & keep their babies safe. Nobody wants their children to starve so maybe they shouldn’t be having lots of babies!! Mother Nature takes care of her own, we have to look after our own, but we have choices, animals don’t. We are the keepers of this planet, but certainly not the carers!!!!

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  4. linda

    If that is an answer for elephants avoiding the farms that is really good news now got anything up your sleeves for the poaching problem. Well done.

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  5. Elizabeth Conlan

    I also heard that placing beehives around properties helps deter elephants from crossing onto home owner lands as elephants are scared of bees

    Reply Report comment
  6. Gary Kuehn

    Nice, but of course this does not address the greater threats of poaching and habitat destruction. There is no foreseeable good ending to this scenario, unless/until we succeed in exterminating ourselves by continuing our present trajectory. H. sapiens’ extinction is the best thing that could happen to this planet.

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  7. Dean

    Sounds like a good short term band-aid, but protected territory with sufficient FOOD for desperately poor people and huge starving animals is the long term answer (Requiring money from ‘real’ HUMANS of course, but a drop in the bucket compared to what gets pissed away in a single year of endless religious fanatic wars!), along with savage opposition to the trophy hunting and deliberate cruelty for FUN for assholes.

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  8. ms

    I weep over & grieve for these elephants, who have every RIGHT to live & lead normal lives — I commend and thank Dr. Pozo and her wonderful team for this beautiful creation of hot chilis — I hope everyone will get involved in preparing these briquettes and SAVE the lives of these beautiful majestic animals — for the sake of God. give them a break already — WHERE are they to go! — WHERE are they to live? — Let’s get some rationality and compassion.

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  9. Leanne

    This is a gr8 idea and should be implemented immediately.

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  10. Sue

    It would be better, over-all, if people would stop breeding like flies. But that won’t happen????

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    • ms

      Interesting point you make — nevertheless, I feel so very sorry for these elephants, who have every RIGHT to live and lead normal lives — I commend and thank Dr. Pozo and her wonderful team for this beautiful creation of hot chilis — I hope everyone will get involved in preparing these briquettes and SAVE the lives of these beautiful majestic animals — for the sake of God. give them a break already — WHERE are they to go! — WHERE are they to live? — Let’s get some rationality and compassion.

      Reply Report comment
    • Mel R

      Sue I totally agree with you and always say the same thing!!! Scumbags breed scumbags!!! People should have to pass a psychological test, a drug/alcohol test, have adequate housing, and prove they are financially able to raise a child otherwise they shouldn’t be allowed to!!! Period!!! We have too many low life losers in this world being evil towards other humans and animals and these assholes are allowed to breed!!…and there is no justice at all!!!
      Bring on this wonderful idea of red chillies to help prevent the torture of these amazing animals, since these idiots won’t stop breeding, wont EVER be punished, and clearly aren’t intelligent enough to not abuse animals!!

      Reply Report comment

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