Your experience with elephants is probably seeing them at zoos or on tv. Many people do not get to experience and learn all the magnificent things that elephants can do! That is why we want to share some fun facts about African elephants that will help you learn why it is so important to save them!
An elephant can eat for 12 to 13 hours a day.
When you are the largest land animal in the world, you need a lot of food. Elephants can eat for 12 to 13 hours a day. Since elephants are eating most of the day, they can eat between 200 to 600 pounds of food a day! On top of that, they drink up to 50 gallons of water each day as well. A lot of food and water is required for elephants to stay active and healthy.
Elephants can run on two hours of sleep a night.
Humans need around seven to eight hours of sleep each night to function. Elephants, on the other hand, can run on two hours of sleep! As crazy as it might sound, they spend most of their day roaming for food and eating it. Plus, they are traveling long distance to find their next meals.
Elephants have the longest pregnancy of all mammals.
An elephant's pregnancy term can last for 22 months. From conception to birth, the elephants' gestation period is about 640 to 660 days. You might be thinking, "Wow, that's a long time!" However, you have to take into consideration that elephants are social complex creatures. During that time, their brain is getting fully developed so they can start learning as soon as they are out of the womb.
Elephants can recognize themselves in mirrors.
One fun fact about African Elephants that many people do not know is their ability to recognize themselves in mirrors. For an animal to be able to recognize themselves in a mirror, they need to have a complex brain. Elephants have one of the most developed brains - allowing them to be self-aware. Only three other species are self-aware, and those are: humans, apes and dolphins.
Elephants mourn their dead.
One quality that elephants have that resemble humans is mourning the death of one another. These gentle giants display grief and mourning for a dead elephant, but not for any other animal. Some elephants will even bury them. Typically, elephants will stand by the remains of dead elephants and touch it. Even if it's the remains of an elephant that is not related to them, they will still show respect.
Elephants are not self-sustaining in captivity.
Even though you see elephants in zoos, it's important to know that they are not self-sustainable in captivity. According to recent statistics, the death of elephants has exceeded the birth rates of elephants - three births for five deaths annually. One prediction of their lack of survival in zoos is their decreased infertility rates.
From the fun facts about African elephants listed above, you can see that elephants are intelligent and fascinating animals. Keep them from going extinct is our mission! You can help us to keep them alive by donating to our research. We're researching how to keep elephants alive in the wild and zoos across the world. Make a difference today with a small donation.