Knowledge is power, and with this power, we can help save elephants. There is still a lot we need to learn about elephants to help them survive. That is why there are elephant nonprofits, like For Elephants, doing research to improve the lives of elephants.
We can help raise awareness about why these animals are amazing and need to be saved with what we do know. Here are some interesting facts about elephants that you can share with family and friends.
Interesting facts about elephants
How many kinds of elephants are there?
Many people assume that every elephant is the same. Contrary to that belief, there are actually three different types of elephants. There is the African bush elephant, African forest elephant and Asian elephant.
What is the difference between African forest elephants and African bush elephants?
As their name indicates, each different elephant lives in a different part of Africa. The African forest elephants reside in the forests of west and central Africa. These elephants are also smaller in size compared to the African bush elephants.
Speaking of the African bush elephants, these animals live in the bushlands and savannahs of eastern and southern Africa. The African bush elephant, also known as the African Savannah elephant, is the largest kind of elephant.
Do the African forest elephants and African bush elephants interact?
There is evidence that both these kinds of elephants do crossbreed, but little is known about them. This is because the female African forest elephant typically mates with the male African bush elephants. There is little research done on the African forest elephants because they are hard to track. It is important to note that elephants usually prefer to breed with the more enormous elephants.
Can elephants swim?
One of the interesting facts about elephants is that they can swim. These massive land mammals are able to swim thanks to their body mass and feet. You are probably wondering, why do elephants need to go into the water? First, you need to know that elephants do not sweat and use the water to cool off. That is why elephants go in search of water or dip into the mud.
Do elephants really have amazing memories?
There is a reason why people say, “Elephants never forget.” Elephants have amazing memories thanks to their large and well-developed brains. The memories of elephants only grow with their wisdom as they age.
That is why the oldest female elephant, the matriarch elephant, is the one who leads the herd. The matriarch elephant uses its wisdom that was passed down by her mother to guide the herd. Without her guidance, the elephants would not be able to spot danger, find food or water.
Are elephants endangered?
Elephants are at risk of extinction. In March 2021, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) gave the African elephants a new conservation status. The African forest elephants are classified as critically endangered. This means that these animals are facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
The African bush elephants and Asian elephants are categorized as endangered. This term is used for species that are at risk of becoming extinct. Why these species are at risk of being lost forever has to do with poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and not being self-sustaining in zoos.
Support elephant nonprofits!
One of the best ways to save elephants around the world is by donating to research. At For Elephants, we research elephant biology so we can improve zoo management and exhibits so that they reflect elephants’ natural biology and behavior. You can donate by joining the Herd of Heroes. Register down below.