The clever elephant thinks beyond the box to reach sweet fruit

Whenever it is time to reach for a nice meal, this newborn elephant has to think outside the box.

Kandula was perplexed when he saw that a delicious fruit branch in his cage was already out of reach.

But the astute Asian elephant swiftly devised a unique approach: he rolled a box he spotted in the corner over the tree where he typically stands and grabbed the fruit.

His epiphany moment at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington was uncovered during a study conducted by experts from the City University of New York and the Smithsonian Institute.

Diana Reiss, who was part of the trial, said that seven-year-old Kandula only looked at the hanging fruit and didn’t care about the box around it.

Kandula rolled the box from the corner of his cage to under the berry-bearing tree with his trunk.

Researchers say that the elephant’s “flash of understanding” was the first proof that elephants can think through how to solve problems.
‘He didn’t try to reach food with a utensil for seven, twenty minutes on seven different days,’ she claimed.

‘And then he had this surprising idea, and he went right up to the block, moved it in a straight line just under the fruit, stepped right on top of it, and took the food in one fast action. ‘

We can’t go inside their thoughts, but the fact that he moved over to the block instantly shows that he was picturing the procedure ahead of time.’

She went on to say that his obvious insight is the first indication that pachyderms can solve problems in their minds.