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Jumbo sex: wilder the better

A research project on captive elephants in the Northeast has revealed that domesticated female elephants would rather mate with wild bulls than go physical with a male in her enclosure, reports Rahul Karmakar.

india Updated: Dec 29, 2008 00:37 IST
Rahul Karmakar

Wilder the male, steamier the sex. This is not Kama Sutra redefined. It’s plain jumbo josh. A research project on captive elephants in the Northeast has revealed that domesticated female elephants would rather mate with wild bulls than go physical with a male in her enclosure.

“Captive cows know the shortcomings of the bulls at home, so they take to the forests as soon as they reach the oestrous or sexually receptive stage,” elephant expert Kushal Konwar Sarma said.

Konwar was the principal investigator of Health Care and Management Protocol for Captive Elephants under the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The project, submitted a year ago, is now being readied for a path-breaking book on the “gentle giants”.

“Captive males are subordinated by their human handlers, and this rubs off on their sexual appetite. After coming of age, the captive females usually spurn the captive males to pair off with wild bulls that are healthier and stronger, besides possessing more libido,” Sarma said.

Wild elephants are also more likely to sire genetically stronger calves than their captive counterparts. And stronger calves mean heavy-duty workers to bank on.