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Kenyan Elephants Sending Text Messages Before They Raid Crops



While the lack of opposable thumbs might make the news something of a shock, word from Africa is that elephants are now sending text messages to warn wildlife rangers when they are heading towards the crops of nearby villages.

Allow us to explain.

Elephants in Kenya have SIM cards inserted into their collars, which automatically send out text messages if they come too close to neighboring farms. Then, spotlights are used to frighten them away from the premises and back onto their wildlife preserve. The Save the Elephants group has implemented the system after the Kenya Wildlife Service (reluctantly) shot five elephants from the conservancy who refused to stop raiding the crops.

One bull elephant named Kimani has been intercepted 15 times since the project began. While he used to raid crops on an almost nightly basis, he hasn't been near a farmer's field for four months.

Of course, it's not all fun and elephant texting: Iain Douglas-Hamilton, founder of Save the Elephants, said the project is still in its infancy, and has had its share of problems. Collar batteries wear out every few years (you think your ceiling light bulbs are tough to replace?), and the project is expensive: five full-time staffers and a standby vehicle are stationed at all times, to respond when a message comes through.

Still, Kimani is totally going in our Top Five. [From: Daily Mail]

Tags: animals, elephants, funny, text-messaging, texting, weird