© By matthieu Gallet Never ever underestimate the intelligence of Mother Nature. A strange thing has been observed among the young female elephants of Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park: About a third of them never developed tusks. While tusklessness is not unheard of in female African elephants, normally it would only happen in about two to four percent of them. The tuskless crew in question here are amongst the first generation born after the end of Mozambique’s 15-year-long civil war, a war in which much was financed through the slaughter of elephants for ivory. Ninety percent of the area’s elephants were killed, yet those without tusks survived. And now they’ve passed the trait on to their daughters. Dina Fine Maron writes about the phenomenon for National Geographic and notes that it’s not just in Mozambique where elephants seem to be taking their fate into their own hands. “Other countries with a history of substantial ivory poaching also see similar shifts among female survivors and their daughters,” she writes. For example, at South Africa’s Addo Elephant Park, 98 percent of the females were tuskless in the early 2000s. “The prevalence of tusklessness in Addo is truly remarkable and underscores the fact […]

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