OSB archive
OSB archive

Elephants get emotional

Pete Wilton

It's no secret that OxSciBlog likes elephants but how do they feel about us and each other?

BBC 1's The Secret Life of Elephants [starts 14 Jan, 9 pm] intends to answer this question by giving us the gamut of elephant emotion from love and lust, through jealousy, fear and anger to grief.

The show follows elephants at the Samburu reserve in Northern Kenya and one of the featured researchers is Iain Douglas-Hamilton, a Research Associate at Oxford's Department of Zoology, founder of the charity Save the Elephants (STE).

A scan of STE's helpful blurb reveals that the three-part series will highlight some of the most interesting findings from the Samburu researchers over the past couple of years, including pachyderm compassion and grief, and how human influence is relegating elephants to smaller and smaller safe areas they find it stressful to navigate between.

I enjoyed what I caught of BBC 2's Elephants of Samburu last year [presented by Iain's daughter Saba] so I'm looking forward to a return with more emphasis on the science and conservation of these magnificent beasts.