Happy World Elephant Day!! The purpose of World Elephant Day is to create awareness about plight of Asian and African elephants, also share knowledge and solutions for better care and management of poaching and wild elephants.
African elephants are listed as “Vulnerable” and Asian elephants as “Endangered” on the IUCN red list of threatened species. Who doesn’t love the world’s gentlest land giants, the elephants? Humans have enjoyed strong bonds with friendly pachyderms throughout history but how much do we know about these beautiful mammals?
Here are some amazing facts about elephant that will be sure to impress!
- Elephants are the largest land mammals; they are also one of the most intelligent, along with the great apes like gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans.
- There are 3 different elephant species; they are the savanna and forest elephants in Africa and the Asian elephant here in Asia.
- Elephants have really amazing long-term memory. An elephant can recognize a person that he or she had spent time with some years ago. Some of these cases involve scientists, zoologists, mahouts or caretakers. Some of them remember a place that they have only been to once and can return to it again in the near or distant future.
- Like all other animals here on earth, they also have emotions.
- If observed mourning their dead, they will comforting each other and feeling and understanding the emotions of one another.
- They can detect a thunderstorm that is as far as 240km away, they would then head towards it in search of water.
- While most animals do not understand reflections and mirrors, elephants can recognize themselves in one. An elephant called Happy is proof of this as she kept touching the X painted on her forehead while looking in the mirror during an observation.
- Elephants are the only land mammals that cannot jump. This could be due to their massive weight. The male African Elephant can grow up to 13 feet tall, measure 30 feet from trunk to tail and weigh up to 14,000 pounds! Despite this weight, they can run up to 40km per hour.
- The elephant’s brain is 3 to 4 times larger than that of a human’s but is smaller in proportion to its body weight.
- In general, the African elephant is larger than the Asian. The forehead of the African elephant is more rounded while the Asian elephant’s has twin domes with an indent in the middle.