Today is World Elephant Day!

August 12, 2018 is World Elephant Day! In honour of these beautiful gentle giants, here are 10 facts about elephants you might not know. Share these with your friends, and encourage fellow travelers to avoid elephant tourism by getting up close and personal at a trusted sanctuary instead, like the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

  1. Elephants can live for up to 70 years – but their habitats are being hotter and drier due to climate change, making it harder to find food and tougher for calves to survive.
  2. Human-Wildlife conflict is one of the largest threats to elephant populations. Humans are pushing more and more into elephant territory for agriculture, and continue to poach for their ivory tusks, despite ivory importation becoming illegal in more and more countries around the world.
  3. There are two types of elephants: the smaller Asian Elephant (weighing up to 10,000 pounds) is endangered, with only 40,000 remaining worldwide. The larger African Elephant (weighing 22,000 pounds) is considered threatened, with less than 400,000 remaining.
  4. Asian Elephants and African Elephants are too biologically different to breed.
  5. 1.5 million to 100,000 years ago, an ancient species of Giant Elephant lived across Euroasia until becoming extinct.
  6. One out of every three Asian Elephants left in the world today are in captivity.
  7. A newborn elephant can weigh more than 250 pounds!
  8. An elephants trunk has more than 40,000 muscles.
  9. Elephants are vegetarian, eating mostly bamboo, grass, bark, leaves, and roots. Adults eat 300-400 pounds of food each day.
  10. The saying “an elephant never forgets” is true! Their memories last many years, which serves them well during the dry seasons, as they go in search of watering holes they remember from their past.

 

family of elephants

 

information sourced from worldelephantday.orgworldelephantday.org and defenders.org

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