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d) Earlier this year, researchers from Duke University went to Gabon to monitor that country’s dwindling elephant population. They took along three drones, which they planned to use to count the elephants, follow their herds, and map their migrations.
c) Only things didn’t exactly go as planned.
a) The elephants noticed the drones, which hovered anywhere from 25 feet to 300 feet above them. And it wasn’t just that the elephants noticed them; in many cases, the elephants were clearly agitated. Some of them took off running. In at least one case, an elephant used her trunk to hurl mud in the drone’s direction. “She had her baby with her,” said Missy Cummings, the director of Duke’s Robotics Lab.
b) The elephants reacted so strongly, the researchers believe, because drones, it turns out, sound a lot like bees. And elephants do not like bees at all.