Elephants are the world's largest and most powerful land animals, so it's not surprising they have a profound impact on the ecosystem. To reach food, elephants regularly break branches, uproot bushes and push down whole trees — sometimes whole strands of trees. Elephants prefer to roam across a vast territory, so forests can usually recover from the damage they cause. But when fences, farmland and human encroachment shrink the range of these magnificent beasts, elephant behavior can radically alter a limited landscape.
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