African Elephant Facts
Elliot is an African Elephant. He is the largest land mammal on Earth. He is related to the Asian Elephant, but Elliot is bigger and can be identified by his large ears. Elephants are incredibly heavy, they can weigh between 5000lb and 14000lb (2,268 to 6,350 kg). The average man weighs roughly 180lb so they are much bigger than any human being.
Elliot is a Bull (Male) Elephant. African Elephants can live up to the age of 70 but Elliot is only young at 10 years old.
Elephants feed for up to 16 hours a day. They feed on leaves, grasses, fruits, coconuts, berries and bark. They can consume up to 660lb (300kg) of food and drink up to 200 litres of water a day! They can go several days without water and can smell water from 3 miles (5km) away.
Elephants have a very long nose which is called a trunk. The trunk has many uses, these uses are; breathing, trumpeting, holding things, smelling and drinking.
Elliot loves to bathe in water. He will use his trunk to suck up water and then spray it all over his body, this also helps him to cool down. An elephant can hold an estimated 4 litres of water in its trunk. They also spray dirt over themselves to help cool down or protect them from flies.
An elephants trunk is made up of around 40,000 muscles which they use to pick up objects. These objects can weigh as much as 700lb (317kg).
Elephants can snorkel when passing through water. They walk along the river bed and hold their trunk above the water. They are the only animal that can do this.
Elephants have a long tail which they use to swish away flies and other insects. Their ears are also useful as they wave them back and forth to cool themselves down.
On either side of Elliot’s trunk are tusks. They are made of ivory and are used for stripping bark from trees, to dig for food and water and the Bull elephants use them for fighting.
Elephants are hunted for their Ivory. It is an illegal act but is still a huge threat to the elephant population. Another threat which elephants face is habitat loss. Humans are building further into the elephants habitat which means that interaction between the two species is increasing. This is dangerous for both species.
If you would like information on how to help protect African wildlife then please visit the Wildlife Conservation Society – https://www.wcs.org/our-work/places/africa