FAQ on African Elephant

Elephant has a large muscular trunk.


Introduction

The African Elephant (loxodonta africana) is the largest land mammal and males can grow up to 4m tall. Two thirds of the Kruger National Park's Elephant are north of the Olifant's River, with the next biggest group around the Sabi River. Smaller populations occur in the Malelane, Olifants/Letaba, Shingwedzi and Pafuri areas.

Do Elephant sacred burial grounds really exist?

Elephant burial grounds do not exist but the idea stemmed from the early explorers who sometimes came across areas littered with Elephant bones, mostly near water. The Elephant bones all lying in one area is probably due to old individuals staying near water and soft vegetation when they get to weak to move around, and eventually die. Over time a build up of bones will occur.

Another reason for a build up of bones in one area could be drought, when the animals congregate around remaining water and eventually die of thirst when the water source dries and they are too weak to move away.

Does an Elephant never forget?

This myth is true! Elephant have excellent memory in comparison to other animals, but this is also likely to their long life-span. They travel over great distances and may only return to a specific area every few years, so they need to remember where to find food and water. This is especially true if drought or flooding occurs.

It has also been proven that Elephants remembered and reacted to the scent of urine of other Elephants that they hadnít had contact with for 30 years! This is likely in captured zoo animals.

Why do Elephant bellow (trumpet)?

The trumpet is an expression of stress, anger or excitement. This excitement could be in reunion of a friend, in the discovery of a water hole or in play.

What are senses of Elephant like?

The nasal organ of Elephant is well developed and is actively used by the Elephant on a daily basis; therefore, elephants have exceptional smell. The big ears should also indicate excellent hearing. On the other hand, their eye sight is not as developed and sharp as the rest of Elephant's senses. By using their trunk, covered in sensory hairs, they have a very acute sense of touch.



 
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