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  #1  
Old 01 November 2012, 06:26 PM
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Whalephant Elephant rope

This was on a friend's Facebook page. Google searches seem to only find propagation of this concept. My skept-o-meter gets pegged on this one.

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As a guy was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures where being held by only a single rope tied to their leg. It was obvious the elephants could break the rope and walk away, but for some reason they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these magnificently strong animals just stood there and made no attempt to break way.

“Well”, the trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use a similar size rope to tie them. At that age it is enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to think they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

The guy was amazed. The elephants could break free at any time, but because they thought they could not, they did not try to break the rope. They were stuck right there! This powerful, gigantic creature has limited it’s present abilities by it’s limitations of the past.

How many of us go through life limiting our abilities based on failures of the past?
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  #2  
Old 01 November 2012, 07:14 PM
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Yeah that's why I still wear diapers
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  #3  
Old 01 November 2012, 07:46 PM
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I had heard a similar story about confining a herd of sheep (I think). They started with an electrified wire, and the sheep learned to stay away, and taught the youngsters to stay away, and when they replaced the wire with rope, none of them even tried to escape, even the next generations. I can see that it may be plausible, but I doubt it was ever done in reality, with either sheep or elephants.
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Old 01 November 2012, 07:52 PM
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Elephants are rather smart animals. They don't break their ropes, or pull their own stakes (which they can do) out of discipline and contentment. The same way a big dog will often stay in a fenced yard even though it is capable of jumping the fence if it really wanted to.
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  #5  
Old 01 November 2012, 08:53 PM
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You can train horses or cattle to stay inside an enclosure using a similar method- with a highly visible electric fence line around it. After a couple of encounters, they'll avoid touching the line, at which point it stops making a difference of whether it's electrified or not.

But with keeping an elephant on a rope- yeah, that only works because the elephant doesn't want to leave as long as it's got food, water, and companions.
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  #6  
Old 02 November 2012, 06:22 AM
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Whalephant

I'm also sure that there'd be a bunch of instances where the elephants would break the rope accidentally and it's mostly discipline that keeps them in line rather than fooling them for however many decades they live.
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Old 02 November 2012, 02:03 PM
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There's a saying, "the best fence is good pasture."

I don't know much about elephants specifically; but I agree that, while livestock are often held as much by the idea of "fence" as by the fence itself, the trick is likely to work as long as those roped or fenced have no particular reason to want to leave, but not any longer.
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  #8  
Old 02 November 2012, 03:51 PM
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If they are Indian elephants they are talking about, they probably have mahouts to whom they then are devoted. I don't want to reduce the relationship to master/pet, because as I understand it is much more than that. At any rate, the mahout becomes their herd, and they naturally would want to stay with the herd.
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  #9  
Old 02 November 2012, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpippin View Post
I had heard a similar story about confining a herd of sheep (I think). They started with an electrified wire, and the sheep learned to stay away, and taught the youngsters to stay away, and when they replaced the wire with rope, none of them even tried to escape, even the next generations. I can see that it may be plausible, but I doubt it was ever done in reality, with either sheep or elephants.
Welcome to the ULMB!

I've heard the story about fleas trapped in a jar - they will jump about madly trying to get out, then jump less and less and eventually determine the jar's confines and not jump high enough to escape even after the lid is removed.

But I figure they were probably just running out of air.
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  #10  
Old 02 November 2012, 05:38 PM
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yeah,
The young elephant is tied by one rope...

Quote:
The elephant, still wild, is tied to a wooden frame or between two tree trunks where he is unable to move. And it is thus, tearing at the ropes and flailing with his trunk, that he is introduced to his mahout. In order to break it in, the young elephant is repeatedly stuck with an elephant hook and beaten. At the same time, the mahout talks to him in a calming voice.
http://www.upali.ch/training_en.html
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  #11  
Old 02 November 2012, 05:44 PM
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Or starving to death. My sister used to keep goats for 4H and I can tell you from personal experience that the electric fence trick will work, but only for animals who've had contact with the hot fence. The next generation of goats has to be taught all over again, there's no communication between generations.

Fleas, and insects in general (with a few exceptions, like bees) appear to have little to no ability to remember learned experiences to begin with.
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  #12  
Old 02 November 2012, 06:35 PM
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I used to work at a wildlife reserve that had a herd of domestic elephants.

One thing to keep in mind is that until recently, elephants were not bred in captivity - they have not had thousands of years of selective breeding to make them domesticated. These days, however, many are bred in captivity and as such can be raised from birth around people.

Anyway, the elephants I worked with were frequently hobbled - a chains connected the two front legs and kept them from moving fast. The elephants would lift their legs on command to assist with the hobbling, much like a dog with sit on command for the owner to put the leash on. They can't get the chains back off again without help from people.

I spent very little time at the Hattigar, where they kept them most of the time, but I seem to recall that chains were used more often than ropes. Some of the Mahouts were very kind and nice to the elephants, but I knew one who would beat his elephant pretty savagely if she didn't do things just right. He would smack her hard on top of the head with the back of his khukuri knife. I really didn't like that guy. The other mahouts used sticks, and would give the elephant an occasional smack, but I don't think it hurt them much - even the guy wailing away with the back of the knife never even drew blood.

In the morning, if the elephants didn't have any tourists to carry around and didn't need to help with anti-poaching patrols, the mahouts would take them out into the jungle to graze. One they found a good stop, the mahouts would hobble them and just hang out all day. It always looked pretty content and peaceful. On the rare occasions where the elephants got mad about something, it was impressive - if one gets agitated, the all get agitated.
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  #13  
Old 02 November 2012, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Elephants that fight their chains
Many elephants like to repeatedly try to break their chains in an attempt to get free. Some elephants which fight their chains are harmless but a sizeable majority, not surprisingly, are aggressive and dangerous.

Such attempts are an understandable try for freedom, but all mahouts will try to stop them because a loose elephant can cause huge damage to property, to crops, and to human beings.

Beyond being a danger to human beings should they get free, elephants fighting chains also often bring serious injuries upon themselves. Some elephants will, holding a section of chain in their trunk, flail the chains against a hard object. The usual technique is to wrap the chains around a body part - the tusks, trunk, head, or even the torso - and then pull against the chains. Sometimes elephants will back off and charge away from the anchor, greatly amplifying the force which they could apply by simply tugging. Wounds, bruises, dislocated ankles, etc., are common, as are split, chipped, and broken tusks. Fatal falls are not unknown. Some elephants will try to bite the chains, chipping their teeth.

The best way to deal with chain-inflicted injuries is to do your best to ensure that they do not occur in the first place:

Be especially careful with elephants that have a history of fighting their chains; many logging elephants are true experts.

Never use inadequate chains (or U-bolts and swivels) that are too small or too worn; many elephants will sense the weakness and be tempted to struggle whereas they would be quiet with stronger chains.

If the anchor point is too fragile, such as a tree that is too small, many elephants will sense the weakness and be tempted to struggle.

Do not tether elephants at rest near disturbances that might irritate them such as loud noises, strangers, unfamiliar elephants, etc.

Always ensure that a tethered elephant has sufficient food and water; a hungry or thirsty elephant is far more likely to fight chains than an elephant contentedly chewing or with a full belly.
Stuff like this makes me think the bit about elephants not fighting their rope is a crock of elephant dung.


http://www.fao.org/docrep/008/ae943e/ae943e08.htm
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  #14  
Old 11 November 2012, 01:30 AM
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It sounds like a variation on Pavlov's dogs.
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  #15  
Old 13 November 2012, 10:51 AM
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Whalephant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alarm View Post
Stuff like this makes me think the bit about elephants not fighting their rope is a crock of elephant dung.


http://www.fao.org/docrep/008/ae943e/ae943e08.htm

I would add it to the trunk of urban legends. This glurge is not worth peanuts.

Dawn--circus peanuts perhaps?--Storm
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  #16  
Old 15 November 2012, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnStorm View Post
I would add it to the trunk of urban legends. This glurge is not worth peanuts.

Dawn--circus peanuts perhaps?--Storm
Truly. When I searched, the OP text came up was in glurgy self help manuals for "small business owners and people interested in taking control of their lives!"

like this
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