Everyone knows what an elephant is, hopefully. You’ve most likely seen one at the zoo when you were five. Those majestic, gentle giants that everyone loves to see shuffling around their enclosures.
Elephants, less commonly known as elephantidae, consist of two different species and subspecies. The difference between species and subspecies is that subspecies are similar to mutts in the dog world. Most people don’t acknowledge all of the lesser known species, such as: African bush, African forest, Indian, Geylon, and Sumatran.
These cute, but not cuddly creatures are endangered! They’re getting hunted for their tusks by poachers and are getting pushed out of their homes by people developing new buildings. There are only around 450,000-700,000 African wild elephants, and 35,000 to 45,000 Asian.
Obviously, elephants are enormous. They eat about 300 to 400 pounds of food per day. Their diet consists mostly of grasses, leaves, bamboo, bark, and roots. The reason they eat so much all of the time is that male elephants weigh in at about 6,000-15,000 pounds, and females aren’t far behind.
Wisdom comes with age, so it’s no surprise that elephants are considered very intelligent. Their life span reaches its max at 70 years!
It’s well known that gentle giants are the largest land mammal. They are around 14 feet from shoulder to toes, and 30 feet from trunk-tip to tail. Although, Asian elephants are shorter than African―and females smaller than males.
All elephants should be protected, and they are, but poachers still want their prized tusks to sell on the black market. They are an endangered species, so treat them your utmost respect. You don’t mess with them, they won’t mess with you. Even though you may not see their wild side often, they definitely have one. Just take precautions when you are near them and all will be well.
By Abbey Lashley