By Katie Scott, Wired UK
For the first time, zoologists have captured elephants experiencing what they have termed the “Eureka” moment, proving that these mammals are capable of insightful problem solving.
The project, which brought together zoologists from New York and Washington, saw three Asian elephants studied as they were given certain tasks to complete that required problem solving.
The two adult females, a 33-year-old and a 61-year-old, and a 7-year-old juvenile male, Kandula, reside at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington, DC. They were first given bamboo sticks to see if they would use these as tools to obtain fruit placed out of reach on the opposite side of the bars of their indoor enclosure. While the scientists did observe the elephants manipulating the sticks like tools, they did not use them to try and reach the sticks.
The team queried whether the elephants‘ failure was as a result of their “lac...