Condoms filled with chilli powder and firecrackers are helping scare elephants away from human settlements in Tanzania's Tarangire National Park. Matthew Stock reports.
Conservationists in Tanzania have come up with an unorthodox way to keep elephants from wandering onto human settlements. Take 3 spoonfuls of chilli powder. Stir in a handful of soil. Then spoon as much of the mixture as possible into an unrolled condom. Finish with one firecracker, and twist the end shut. Light the fuse and hurl it into the air. Any elephants that get whiff of the spicy concoction in the breeze will most likely quickly head in the opposite direction. Elephants can can wander across national park boundaries onto farms, devastating a family's food supply, as well as trampling property and threatening peoples' safety. This novel approach is part of an elephant alarm system to help farmers protect their food source without harming the elephant. It was devised by Tanzania-based conservation group the Honeyguide Foundation, with support from the U.S.-based Nature Conservancy. They're now training volunteers in a number of villages in northern Tanzania to help protect their crops and homes.