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Elephants are afraid of pigs

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Elephant on a Roman mosaic
An elephant on a Roman mosaic

The 1st-century Roman historian, Pliny the Elder and Claudius Aelianus, a 2nd-century writer, describe that one of the best defences against elephants was pigs. Their smell made the animals panic.

This, in turn, meant a deadly danger for his own army, as the scared elephant trampled everything on the road.

It was for this reason that the mahouts had with them a special chisel, which, in the event of losing control of the animal, would stick it into its spinal cord, causing it to die quickly1.

  1. Titus Livius, Ad urbe condita, 27:49
  • Pliny the Elder, Natural History

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