Poor Somboon has had a lifetime on the streets, and now this.

A new study shows that Asian elephants lack clear matriarchs. African elephants have strong dominance hierarchies because resources are scarce. You need to follow the wise leader to survive. But Asian elephants have a more stable environment and therefore make their own individual movement decisions. One researcher in Sri Lanka said that in the group they were studying “everyone sort of did what they wanted to do.”.

The article is here: https://news.mongabay.com/2016/10/asian-elephant-herds-lack-clear-matriarchs-strict-hierarchies-new-study/

I’ve heard that African elephants are harder to train, which is why most circus and domesticated elephants are Asian. But this article suggests that wild Asian elephants are less tolerant to being dominated. I wonder how much the tolerance is cultural (not sure what else to call it) versus genetic.

One of the side benefits of this comic for me is learning more about the lives of wild elephants and pondering these questions.