As the largest land animal on planet earth, these mighty elephants deserve a day where they stand in the limelight. With World Elephant Day approaching on August 12—a dedication to the preservation and protection of these gigantic grey beasts—we thought we’d share some amazing facts about African Elephants with you. From small beginnings in 2012, this World Elephant Day is now supported by countless countries and more than 65 wildlife organisations that are home to the African Savannah Elephant, the African Forest Elephant, and the Asian Elephant.
From estimates that at one point in time, around 26 million elephants roamed Africa, elephant numbers on the continent have slowly but surely dwindled to less than 400,000 carving out an existence today. The animals are listed as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of threatened species, mainly due to ivory poaching.
The best and most effective way to engage the help of wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers alike in the fight for the survival of the African Elephant is to lift the veil on their world.
Did you know:
The word “elephant” comes from the Greek word “elephas” which means “ivory”.
The African elephant is distinguished from its Asian cousin by their big ears that are shaped like the continent they inhabit and that help to keep them cool.
These ecosystem engineers use their tusks to make waterholes in dry riverbeds that are frequented by a whole host of other species.
There are around 40,000 muscles in the trunk of an elephant and they use the split tips at the end to grab onto smaller items.
Their big grey bodies need a lot of sustenance and they can gobble up more than 300 kg in a single day.
A matriarch is the leader of the herd that is comprised of other cows and their offspring while bulls form their own bonds.
The gestation period at 22 months is the longest of all the mammals with a calf weighing almost 100 kilograms.
The oldest elephant lived for 86 years, while the largest weighed more than 10 tons.
Although elephants can swim and use their trunk as a snorkel, they are unable to jump.
It is believed that this special specie can display emotions like grief, altruism, compassion, and self-awareness.
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