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Departments & Programs


Elephant Behavior and Hormone Fluctuation - Etosha National Park, Namibia

During the summer of 2011, Patrick Freeman spent a month researching bull elephant behavior and hormone fluctuation at a remote waterhole in Etosha National Park, Namibia. Serving as a research assistant to Dr. Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell, Patrick was able to pursue his lifelong dream of studying elephants in the wild. He collected intricate behavioral observations on the population of highly social bull elephants in the northeast region of Etosha National Park.  He also collected dung samples from individuals for DNA and hormone analysis. These data provide vital insights into the health of the elephant population and offer a glimpse into the correlation between hormone levels, elephant movement, and dominance within groups. This information is essential to the management and protection of elephants.  Patrick is excited to return to Namibia to continue his work during the summer of 2012.