It will be again. But for many years, Gorongosa National Park was a war zone.
The African country of Mozambique was at war with itself. The war was a human war. Yet, many animals suffered, especially elephants. The population of 2,500 elephants fell to 200.
For Dominique Gonçalves, Gorongosa is home. She is a National Geographic Explorer and the manager of the Elephant Ecology Project.
Gorongosa National Park
Elephants are known for their social bonds, intelligence, and memory.
She studies the elephants here. An elephant herd is like a family. It’s led by the oldest and largest female. She leads her daughters and their offspring. She is the matriarch.
Matriarch Valda has a bullet hole in her right ear. That’s an injury she got from the war.
When they see people, they fight or run away. Some animal behaviorists think that these elephants are angry. They think the elephants remember bad things from the war. That’s why they don’t trust people.