Your Questions for a World-Renowned Elephant Expert

Joyce Poole. Photo credit: Petter Granli/ElephantVoices

After a devastating civil war ravaged Mozambique in 1977,┬áMozambicans weren’t the only victims of a 16-year-long calamity. Endless warfare wiped out nearly 95 percent of the wildlife living in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, leaving elephants among the hardest hit. Poached for their ivory, their population was reduced from more than 2,000 to just over 100. Today, peace has returned to Mozambique, but the surviving elephants still carry the emotional scars of war.

In a place where elephants must relearn how to trust humans, a brother-and-sister team have made it their mission to help these traumatized animals heal. Their documentary, “War Elephants”, follows siblings Bob Poole and world-renowned elephant scientist Dr. Joyce Poole as they come face-to-face with the largest creatures on Earth in often truly dangerous encounters.

One Tusk, an aggressive female elephant, charges Joyce and Bob’s vehicle. Photo courtesy of Bob Poole.

Part of Joyce’s groundbreaking research includes her work decoding elephant language as well as an additional discovery that may imply elephants across Africa share a common language. Joyce hopes that by communicating with the elephants, she and her brother can move one step closer to helping them recover.

Now you can join Joyce Poole in a live conversation on the National Geographic Facebook page Tuesday, March 13 at 2:30pm ET (7:30pm UTC). Post your questions there or in the comments section of this blog post. Then tune in for the live interview and post more questions as the conversation develops.

War Elephants Premieres Sunday, April 22 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Nat Geo WILD



Learn more

Watch a clip from the Pooles’ earlier documentary, Coming of Age with Elephants from Bob Poole on Vimeo.

Changing Planet