Elephants on the Edge - Bradshaw, G. A. - Yale University Press
Social Science

Elephants on the Edge

What Animals Teach Us about Humanity

  • G. A. Bradshaw
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Images courtesy of Winnie Wintermeyer (author photo) and Cyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson.

Out of Print.

Favorite Science Books of 2009, Scientific American.

Received an honorable mention in the Psychology category of the 2009 PROSE Award, presented by the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers.

Winner of the Gold Medal for the 2009 Book of the Year Award in Psychology category, presented by ForeWord magazine

Received Honorable Mention for the 2010 Green Book Festival Awards in the Animals category

Click here to visit the author's website.

Drawing on accounts from India to Africa and California to Tennessee, and on research in neuroscience, psychology, and animal behavior, G. A. Bradshaw explores the minds, emotions, and lives of elephants. Wars, starvation, mass culls, poaching, and habitat loss have reduced elephant numbers from more than ten million to a few hundred thousand, leaving orphans bereft of the elders who would normally mentor them. As a consequence, traumatized elephants have become aggressive against people, other animals, and even one another; their behavior is comparable to that of humans who have experienced genocide, other types of violence, and social collapse. By exploring the elephant mind and experience in the wild and in captivity, Bradshaw bears witness to the breakdown of ancient elephant cultures.

All is not lost. People are working to save elephants by rescuing orphaned infants and rehabilitating adult zoo and circus elephants, using the same principles psychologists apply in treating humans who have survived trauma. Bradshaw urges us to support these and other models of elephant recovery and to solve pressing social and environmental crises affecting all animals, human or not.

G. A. Bradshaw, who holds doctorates in ecology and psychology, is director of the Kerulos Center. Her work on elephants, chimpanzees, parrots, and other animals is frequently featured in the national media, including the New York Times, NPR, 20/20, Time magazine, the London Times, National Geo­graphic television, and National Geographic magazine. She lives in Jacksonville, OR.