Elephants Evolve To Not Grow Tusks, Thwarting Poachers
How can elephants fend off ivory poachers? By never growing tusks at all. Some 32% of female elephants in Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park are now born tuskless—a far cry from the 2% to 4% naturally occurring in Africa's wild, per research published in National Geographic. Thousands of Gorongosa elephants were slaughtered for ivory to fund the nation's long civil war, leaving just 200 females, half of whom are tuskless; now their female offspring are following suit. Numbers are worse in South Africa's Addo Elephant Park, where 98% of all female pachyderms—mothers and daughters alike—were reportedly tuskless in the early 'naughts.