Elephants can literally smell danger, according to a new study that shows the animals can sniff out whether humans are friends or foes.
The study in Kenya found elephants detected both the scents and colours of garments worn by Masai tribesman who often come into conflict with the animals when herding cattle. When detecting the scent of a Masai, the elephants turned up their trunks to orient themselves to the smell and then stampeded away until they reached cover in the tall grass.
"The degree with which the elephants are able to classify people hasn't been shown before in any animal," said Lucy Bates, a cognitive psychologist at the University of St. Andrews.
Tags: Elephant | Scent | Danger | Sniff