You may be looking at this question and asking yourself what real problem can an elephant cause for people? In all seriousness, there are those countries throughout the world where people use elephants as a form of transportation. This is common in areas like Africa and India, where out in rural areas they are used as a great way to get from point A to point B.
Centuries ago, generals use these animals as a means to terrorize enemies and to break down walls of opposing armies. Hannibal is famous for destroying the Roman armies in the third century BC by riding his group of elephants into the Roman armies and sending them fleeing.
In countries like India, these animals are used during important ceremonies. It is not uncommon for a man and woman to come to the altar each riding an elephant. So how can they pose a problem?
Those are nice examples of how elephants can be tamed to do great things. You may have even seen some who performed wonderful acts that amazed you at the circus, but that is not the norm for the vast majority of elephants.
You must realize that an elephant is a wild animal which makes it a danger to any human being. This is not like your cat or dog where you can determine how it will normally act in virtually all circumstances. Because it is wild, an elephant can act sporadically and dangerously. There are many instances where when these animals are startled that they will simply run. That means that they can crush anything in their pathway. They may also respond by attacking, and their tusks are lethal weapons. This makes them a real problem.
There is also the concern about the diseases and pathogens that elephants carry with them. The bacteria and parasites that live inside an elephant pose serious health risks to human beings. If you are scratched or even get elephant saliva on you, you are taking a risk of having a pathogen or parasite passed on to you, which can lead to serious illness. For the vast number of people who never come in contact with an elephant, this makes the risk of exposure even greater.
Of course, there is a practical application to not wanting to come in contact with elephants. If you have seen the size of these beasts then you are aware that they are quite formidable. Even if you are able to tame one and to ensure that it provides no health risk to you whatsoever, consider the fact of what it is like to feed and care for one of these creatures.
You don’t really need to go much further than consider the problem you face should you have to clean up for one of these animals after it has relieved itself. Do you really want to think about what that mass will look like? The smell alone has to be beyond words, and this is problem enough in itself.
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