A national park in South Africa is having major problems due to outbreaks of violence, against other elephants and against visitors to the national park, by young elephants. Contrary to normal elephant behaviour, young elephants are attacking visitors and showing severe disturbed behaviour. (Some dramatic video footage was shown of young elephants attacking a car and its occupants.)
The cause of the problem has been identified. The young elephants causing the trouble were brought into the park while very young, having been separated from their mothers at an unusually early age. The lack of maternal care, plus the absence of good adult role models during a crucial formative period, created the conditions in which violence developed. The park rangers state that in future they will only bring in whole families.
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