The finding, experts say, has implications for conservation management, which often solely focuses on the number of animals in a population, and may
extend to chimpanzees, dolphins, whales, and other species.
“It is a groundbreaking study, because it is the first to demonstrate, experimentally, a direct connection between the effects of culling and specific psychosocial harms,” says Lori Marino, a neuroscientist and expert
on dolphin behavior at Emory University in Atlanta, who was not involved with the research.
“It shows unequivocally that elephants are psychologically damaged by culling.”
Wildlife officials often used culling as a conservation tool in South Africa from the 1960s to the 1990s.