Elephants are being killed for their tusks all over the world. We humans have gone to the extent of altering their genes with increased poaching.
According to research, an increasing number of African elephants are now born tuskless because they have been consistently targeted for the best ivory. They have developed this trait to ensure their survival in a world where they are killed for ivory.
Africa has been a war-afflicted continent for several years. Throughout the war, elephants were killed for their tusks and meat. This led to a sharp decrease in their numbers.
Case in point is Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, whereof the 200 known adult females who survived the war, 51% are tuskless. Further, 32% of the female elephants born since the war are tuskless. These numbers are much larger than 2-4%, naturally occurring tuskless female elephants.
It has also been reported that the elephants who survived the war and poaching, developed much smaller tusks - about a fifth smaller in males and more than a third smaller in females.
Tusks do not have any biological function for elephants. They are used mainly for digging grounds, felling trees and other such activities that help create habitats for other species. Which means elephants without tusks find it harder to find food for themselves.
Tusklessness can have severe implications for our ecosystem.