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Human gestures 'understood by elephants'

11 October 2013 Last updated at 06:54 BST

UK scientists claim to have discovered that African elephants have an instinctive understanding of human gestures.

In a series of tests, researcher Ann Smet, of the University of St Andrews, offered the animals a choice between two identical buckets, then pointed at the one containing a hidden treat.

From the first trial, the elephants chose the correct bucket.

The results are published in the journal Current Biology.

Victoria Gill reports.

Research footage courtesy of Ann Smet and Richard Byrne, University of St Andrews

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