The elephants don’t just notice the difference in dress. They’re also tuned into to differences in human dialect. The Maasai and Kamba have distinctive vocal and dialect differences … at least distinctive enough that these elephants can recognize them. The researchers played a recordings of Maasai and Kamba men saying “Look, look over there. A group of elephants is coming.” When the elephants heard the recordings of the Kamba men they took notice but exhibited no untoward fear or anxiety. When they heard the voices of the Maasai men the reaction was different. The elephants fled and once again moved to protect their young.
Karen McComb, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Sussex in England explained the elephant behavior upon hearing the recordings of the Maasai and Kamba. “Cognitively, they know what they’re doing, she said, “and they adjust their reaction to exactly what they’re hearing.”
OK … what’s going on here? We have elephants altering their behavior when encountering different African tribesmen. Sometimes the elephants go into a defensive mode based upon a visual clue, the red robes, or speech patterns. Other visual and aural clues cause them no distress whatsoever.
Has it struck you yet? Come on, folks. This really isn’t that difficult. These elephants are PROFILING! They’re basing their reaction to encountering different groups of men based on past experience. Members of one group are more likely to be dangerous to the elephants than members of the other, and the elephants react accordingly.
I’m afraid that to get through to the irrational mind of a liberal, I have to state the obvious here.
There is no real difference in the elephant’s negative and defensive reaction to the red robes of the Maasai than a person’s reaction to someone wearing a hoodie or gang apparel on the street. There is no real difference between an elephant’s heightened sense of alert upon hearing a particular speech pattern over our reaction to hearing dialects identifiable as coming from inner city gangster culture. Skin color? Not a factor. In case you don’t already know this; the Maasai and the Kamba are both black. (Can’t really call them African Americans for obvious reasons. Well … maybe not so obvious to liberals.)
Experience instructs. People -- and elephants -- learn.
When elephants exhibit this behavior in the wild it’s an occasion for marveling at their intelligence. When humans exhibit this behavior in high crime areas, it’s called racism.