“Floppy trunk syndrome (abbreviated FTS, also known as flaccid trunk paralysis) is a condition that causes trunk paralysis in African bush elephants. Initially observed in 1989, the syndrome primarily affected bull elephants in several select regions in Zimbabwe.”
The ailment can lead to death by malnutrition, as elephants use their prehensile trunks to forage for food. Affected animals sometimes develop coping strategies such as resting the affected trunk on the tusks.
The cause is presently unknown, and there is no treatment available. Theories include damage due to eating poisonous plants e.g. Loxodonta africana, Heliotropium ovalifolium and Blumea gariepina. (See this thesis from Alain Albert Guntern at the Université de Lausanne ) and also heavy metal poisoning from contaminated drinking water etc.
Ideas for new topics, and suggested additions / corrections for old ones, are always welcome.
If you have skills or interests in a particular field, and have suggestions for Wikenigma, get in touch !
Or, if you'd like to become a regular contributor . . . request a login password. Registered users can edit the entire content of the site, and also create new pages.
( The 'Notes for contributors' section in the main menu has further information and guidelines etc.)