#WorldElephantDay on social media to spread awareness (www.worldelephantday.org).
Common Elephant Facts:
- It is thought that there used to be approximately 350 different species of elephant on the planet, at one time.
- Today there are only two species left; the Asian elephant, and the African elephant .
- Wild lifespan of 60-70 years; captive lifespan of below 40 years.
- Gestation (pregnancy): 22 months.
- Live together in (familial) herds of 10-100 elephants, led by the matriarch.
- Young males will leave the family heard, and often form smaller bachelor groups, once sexual maturity is reached.
- Known to visit ‘elephant graveyards’ and mourn the death of herd members.
- Their trunk is used like a finger/hand – to grab things, such as food or to move obstacles out of their way; as well as sometimes being used to hold onto the tail of the elephant in front during walkies!
Asian Elephant Facts:
- also known as the Indian elephant.
- smaller in size than the African, weighing up to 5 tonnes, reaching 6.4 metres in length, and 3 metres in height.
- small ears, straight at the bottom.
- only males have tusks; not all males get tusks.
- five toes on the front feet; four toes on the back feet.
- estimated to be less than 50,000 remaining in the wild – classification: endangered.
- The Pygmy or Borneo Elephant is a smaller subspecies of the Asian. They are roughly between 5-8ft, and rarely seen!
- larger of the two elephant species, weighing up to 6 tonnes, reaching 7.5 metres in length, and 3.3 metres in height.
- large, round edged ears; used as fans in the heat (plus excess heat is released from the large surface area).
- of the African, there are two subspecies; bush or savanna and forest.
- both males and females have tusks.
- African elephants are left or right-tusked (like we are left or right-handed); the dominant tusk is often smaller due to wear and tear.
- five front toes; three hind toes.
- estimated to be 470,000 remaining in the wild – classification: vulnerable.