Individual study: An easy-to-use capsicum delivery system for crop-raiding elephants in Zimbabwe: preliminary results of a field test in Hwange National Park
Le Bel S., Taylor R., Lagrange M., Ndoro O., Barra M. & Madzikanda H. (2010) An easy-to-use capsicum delivery system for crop-raiding elephants in Zimbabwe: preliminary results of a field test in Hwange National Park. Pachyderm, 47, 80-89
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Use chili to deter crop damage by mammals to reduce human-wildlife conflict
A study in 2007 of grassland, thicket, woodland and water holes in a national park in Zimbabwe (Le Bel et al. 2010) found that after being shot at with chili oil extract, most savanna elephants Loxodonta africana either ran away or backed up, but most soon resumed normal behaviour. When shot at, 11 (46%) of 24 elephants ran away, seven (29%) changed their behaviour and walked away and six (25%) did not change their behaviour. After 1 minute, seven (29%) were still running away, one (4%) was walking away and 16 (67%) had resumed normal behaviour. The study was conducted in a remote area of Hwange National Park in October 2007. Between 09:30 and 18:00 h, a professional hunter shot a ping-pong ball filled with chili oil extract at 24 elephants from 15–110 m using a gas-dispenser. Only eight elephants were hit by the balls, of which seven then released chili oil.
(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)