No Elephants Allowed

This passage is about how some farmers in Africa have trouble with elephants harming their crops.

Lexile Level: 730L

Categories: People & Places Animals & Nature


Across much of Africa, farmers have a big problem. Elephants trample their fields at night and eat their crops. For years, farmers tried keeping them away by beating drums or cracking whips. It was dangerous work. The elephants got used to the noise. They weren't afraid anymore. Some farmers put up electric fences. But not everyone could afford them. Then, researchers found an easy new way to keep elephants away. They used chili peppers. Elephants don't like chili peppers at all! Some farmers made "bombs" from animal waste by mixing the waste with chili peppers. Then they burned them. Elephants won't go near the smelly smoke. Other farmers built cheap string fences and coated the string with chili pepper grease. Another solution was to plant chili peppers along the edges of fields. When the peppers are ripe, farmers make extra money selling them to be made into hot sauce. Farmers still have to carefully watch their fields near harvest time. But chili peppers are providing an inexpensive way to help keep elephants away.


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