CAT 2018 Question Paper | Verbal Slot 1

CAT Previous Year Paper | CAT VARC Questions | Question 8

This is a negative-type question from the Human-Elephant Conflict passage that appeared in CAT 2018 Question Paper Slot 1. The ‘EXCEPT’ part from this question is crucial because the fun is in there. This is a type of question you can expect in your CAT Exam. Reading and solving a gazillion questions during your CAT Online Preparation is uber-crucial to crack the CAT Exam with a fabulous percentile.


“Everybody pretty much agrees that the relationship between elephants and people has dramatically changed,” [says psychologist Gay] Bradshaw. “Where for centuries humans and elephants lived in relatively peaceful coexistence, there is now hostility and violence. Now, I use the term ‘violence’ because of the intentionality associated with it, both in the aggression of humans and, at times, the recently observed behavior of elephants.”

Typically, elephant researchers have cited, as a cause of aggression, the high levels of testosterone in newly matured male elephants or the competition for land and resources between elephants and humans. But, Bradshaw and several colleagues argue that today’s elephant populations are suffering from a form of chronic stress, a kind of species-wide trauma. Decades of poaching and culling and habitat loss, they claim, have so disrupted the intricate web of familial and societal relations by which young elephants have traditionally been raised in the wild, and by which established elephant herds are governed, that what we are now witnessing is nothing less than a precipitous collapse of elephant culture.

Elephants, when left to their own devices, are profoundly social creatures. young elephants are raised within an extended, multi-tiered network of doting female caregivers that includes the birth mother, grandmothers, aunts and friends. These relations are maintained over a life span as long as 70 years. Studies of established herds have shown that young elephants stay within 15 feet of their mothers for nearly all of their first eight years of life, after which young females are socialized into the matriarchal network, while young males go off for a time into an all-male social group before coming back into the fold as mature adults.

This fabric of elephant society, Bradshaw and her colleagues [demonstrate], ha[s] effectively been frayed by years of habitat loss and poaching, along with systematic culling by government agencies to control elephant numbers and translocations of herds to different habitats. As a result of such social upheaval, calves are now being born to and raised by ever younger and inexperienced mothers. Young orphaned elephants, meanwhile, that have witnessed the death of a parent at the hands of poachers are coming of age in the absence of the support system that defines traditional elephant life. “The loss of elephant elders,” [says] Bradshaw "and the traumatic experience of witnessing the massacres of their family, impairs normal brain and behavior development in young elephants.”

What Bradshaw and her colleagues describe would seem to be an extreme form of anthropocentric conjecture if the evidence that they’ve compiled from various elephant researchers weren’t so compelling. The elephants of decimated herds, especially orphans who’ve watched the death of their parents and elders from poaching and culling, exhibit behavior typically associated with post-traumatic stress disorder and other trauma-related disorders in humans: abnormal startle response, unpredictable asocial behavior, inattentive mothering and hyper-aggression.

[According to Bradshaw], “Elephants are suffering and behaving in the same ways that we recognize in ourselves as a result of violence. Except perhaps for a few specific features, brain organization and early development of elephants and humans are extremely similar.”

Question 8 : The passage makes all of the following claims EXCEPT

  1. Elephant mothers are evolving newer ways of rearing their calves to adapt to emerging threats.
  2. The elephant response to deeply disturbing experiences is similar to that of humans.
  3. Elephants establish e[tended and enduring familial relationships as do humans.
  4. Human actions such as poaching and culling have created stressful conditions for elephant communities.

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Explanatory Answer

While there is no evidence in the passage to support option 1, the other options can be defended by statements in the passage:

  • Option 2 – See last paragraph: ‘elephants are suffering and behaving in the same ways that we recognize in ourselves as a result of violence ....’


  • Option 3 – See paragraph 3: ‘young elephants are raised within an extended, multi-tiered network of doting female caregivers that includes the birth mother, grandmothers, aunts and friends. These relations are maintained over a life span as long as 70 years’


  • Option 4 – See paragraph 4: ‘This fabric of elephant society, Bradshaw and her colleagues demonstrate, has effectively been frayed by years of habitat loss and poaching, along with systematic culling by government agencies’


The question is "The passage makes all of the following claims EXCEPT"

Hence, the answer is Elephant mothers are evolving newer ways of rearing their calves to adapt to emerging threats.

Choice A is the correct answer.

 

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