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18 extraordinary elephant facts and why these gentle giants need our help

Eighteen extraordinary elephant facts and why these fascinating creatures need our protection.

Why elephants are excellent (and need our protection)

To raise awareness of these beautiful, intelligent and peaceful mammals, we made a list of 18 extraordinary elephant facts.

Elephants need our protection!

Found throughout sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia, elephants are the world’s largest land animals. Generally speaking, two species of these amazing giants are recognised; the African elephant and the Asian elephant. 

Due to human activity such as poaching and habitat destruction, the world’s population of elephants has been drastically decreasing. African elephants are listed as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature on their Red List of Threatened Species, while the Asian elephant is classed as endangered.

These gentle giants need our protection

The main reason why these gentle giants are so critically in danger from poachers is their tusks. Although scientific research has proved the ivory consists of dentine, a tissue that is similar to bone and has no special medicinal effects or qualities, the widespread slaughter continues. 

The main reason why these gentle giants are so critically in danger from poachers is their tusks. Although scientific research has proved the ivory consists of dentine, a tissue that is similar to bone and has no special medicinal effects or qualities, the widespread slaughter continues. These adorable gentle giants need our protection!

Source: List25.com

The largest elephant on record weighed 26,000 lbs/11,800 kgs and was 13 ft/4 m high.
1. Elephants are the world’s largest land animals The largest elephant on record weighed 26,000 lbs/11,800 kgs and was 13 ft/4 m high. Source: Pixabay
Elephant females undergo the longest gestation period of all mammals and are pregnant for 22 months.
2. The elephant in the womb… Elephant females undergo the longest gestation period of all mammals and are pregnant for 22 months. Source: YouTube/DavidBarlow
An adult elephant can eat for up to 16 hours a day and will consume around 600 lbs/272 kgs of vegetable matter.
3. These huge herbivores love their food! An adult elephant can eat for up to 16 hours a day and will consume around 600 lbs/272 kgs of vegetable matter. Source: Pixabay
Like only human toddlers, great apes, magpies and dolphins, elephants can recognise themselves in a mirror.
4. Elephants have passed the mirror test Like only human toddlers, great apes, magpies and dolphins, elephants can recognise themselves in a mirror. Source: Gfycat.com
Elephants will use mud or dust as a sunscreen. Although thick, their skin is extremely sensitive, and without regular mud or dust baths to protect it from burning, insect bites, and moisture loss, their skin can suffer serious irritation, damage and infection.
5. An Elephant’s skin is so sensitive that they can feel a fly landing on it Elephants will use mud or dust as a sunscreen. Although thick, their skin is extremely sensitive, and without regular mud or dust baths to protect it from burning, insect bites, and moisture loss, their skin can suffer serious irritation, damage and infection. Source: Pixabay
Elephants can move forwards, backwards and sideways, but cannot trot, jump, or gallop. They are so heavy that they can’t get all four legs off the ground at the same time.
6. Elephants can’t jump Elephants can move forwards, backwards and sideways, but cannot trot, jump, or gallop. They are so heavy that they can’t get all four legs off the ground at the same time. Source: Wonderopolis
They pick up seismic signals with sensory cells in their feet. They can also “hear” these deep-pitched sounds when ground vibrations travel from the animal’s front feet, up its leg and shoulder bones, and into its middle ear.
7. Elephants can detect earthquakes They pick up seismic signals with sensory cells in their feet. They can also “hear” these deep-pitched sounds when ground vibrations travel from the animal’s front feet, up its leg and shoulder bones, and into its middle ear. Source: Pixabay
However they are scared of ants and bees, and it is for this reason farmers in some African countries protect their fields from elephants by lining the borders with beehives.
8. Contrary to popular belief elephants are not afraid of mice However they are scared of ants and bees, and it is for this reason farmers in some African countries protect their fields from elephants by lining the borders with beehives. Source: Pixabay
These small, thickset, herbivorous mammals are often mistaken for rodents.
9. Somewhat surprisingly, the closest living relatives to elephants are hyraxes These small, thickset, herbivorous mammals are often mistaken for rodents. Source: Pixabay
10. Elephants are capable of human-like emotions such as feeling loss, grieving and even crying. They remember and mourn their loved ones, even many years after their death. When the
10. Elephants display emotions 10. Elephants are capable of human-like emotions such as feeling loss, grieving and even crying. They remember and mourn their loved ones, even many years after their death. When the “Elephant Whisperer” Lawrence Anthony died, a group of elephants travelled 12 hours to his house to mourn him (pictured). Source: Sunnyskyz.com
Individuals greet each other by stroking or wrapping their trunks around one another. Older elephants will also use trunk-slaps, kicks and shoves to discipline boisterous youngsters.
11. Touching is an important form of communication among elephants Individuals greet each other by stroking or wrapping their trunks around one another. Older elephants will also use trunk-slaps, kicks and shoves to discipline boisterous youngsters. Source: Pixabay
The oldest elephant ever was Lin Wang, an Asian elephant, who died on February 2003 at the ripe old age of 86.
12. The average lifespan for an elephant in the wild is around 50 to 70 years The oldest elephant ever was Lin Wang, an Asian elephant, who died on February 2003 at the ripe old age of 86. Source: Wikipedia.org
They are born blind, and weigh up to 260 lbs/118 kgs.
13. Newborn elephant babies can stand up shortly after birth They are born blind, and weigh up to 260 lbs/118 kgs. Source: Pixabay
The trunk of an elephant contains more than 40,000 muscles, and while an elephant’s trunk is certainly massive (weighing about 400 lbs/181 kgs) it is so dexterous it can pick up very tiny things as small as a single grain of rice.
14. That’s some nose! The trunk of an elephant contains more than 40,000 muscles, and while an elephant’s trunk is certainly massive (weighing about 400 lbs/181 kgs) it is so dexterous it can pick up very tiny things as small as a single grain of rice. Source: Pixabay
They love to swim, dive into the water and appear to have great fun in fighting the waves. It also gives their joints a break from carrying all that weight as the buoyancy they get from the water makes them virtually weightless.
15. Elephants adore water They love to swim, dive into the water and appear to have great fun in fighting the waves. It also gives their joints a break from carrying all that weight as the buoyancy they get from the water makes them virtually weightless. Source: Pixabay
They tend to have a new baby every 2 and half to 4 years but they nurse for years. They usually have one baby, twins are very rare.
16. Elephant females can have babies until they are about 50 years old They tend to have a new baby every 2 and half to 4 years but they nurse for years. They usually have one baby, twins are very rare. Source: Pexels
17. Elephants can hear one another’s trumpeting call up to 6 miles away. Source: Pexels
As bull elephants can be difficult and dangerous to work with, they have often been chained and sometimes even abused. Historically, elephants were also considered formidable instruments of war, which is a sickening exploitation of these naturally peaceful creatures.
18. Since ancient times, captive African and Asian elephants have been used as working or performing animals As bull elephants can be difficult and dangerous to work with, they have often been chained and sometimes even abused. Historically, elephants were also considered formidable instruments of war, which is a sickening exploitation of these naturally peaceful creatures. Source: Pixabay
Although scientific research has proved the ivory consists of dentine, a tissue that is similar to bone and has no special medicinal effects or qualities, the widespread slaughter continues. They need our protection.
The main reason why these gentle giants are so critically in danger from poachers is their tusks Although scientific research has proved the ivory consists of dentine, a tissue that is similar to bone and has no special medicinal effects or qualities, the widespread slaughter continues. They need our protection. Source: BobbyYip/Pri.org
Why elephants are excellent (and need our protection) Eighteen extraordinary elephant facts and why these fascinating creatures need our protection. Source: Facebook/BrightVibes
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Save the Elephants’ mission is to secure a future for elephants and to sustain the beauty and ecological integrity of the places they live; to promote man’s delight in their intelligence and the diversity of their world, and to develop a tolerant relationship between the two species.