When people think about elephant myths these African elephant facts don’t tend to come to mind. The most common conceptions regard old TV shows, movies and entertainment! Here are some elephant myths that you should not believe.
Who has not seen a cartoon where elephants are portrayed as being afraid of a mouse? Sorry to break it to everyone, but there is no evidence that elephants are scared of mice. They do not get frightened by seeing or having a mouse climb on them.
One of the reasons why researchers believe that elephants are not afraid of mice is because they don’t have predators. They lack predators in the wild because of their size. Though there have been instances when wild cats have attacked elephant calves. The only other predators are humans who hunt them down for their ivory. Thus, debunking the myth that elephants are afraid of mice.
A unique feature elephants have is their trunks. They can use their trunks to pick things up, bathe and even comfort other elephants. However, one misconception that people tend to believe is that elephants drink through their trunks.
Elephants do not drink water through their trunks like a straw. Their trucks are their nose and upper lip. Its primary purpose is to breathe, grasp and smell. However, elephants can suck water part way through their trucks to spray or squirt water.
Remember those cartoons when the elephants would get fed peanuts? The elephants in the cartoons would pick up the peanuts with their trunks and enjoy them! The truth is that elephants do not eat peanuts in the wild or in captivity.
Elephants stand at 10 feet and require a lot of food to stay healthy and active. There are no peanuts in their habitats. And if peanuts were available in the wild, they would not fill up these giant mammals. An elephant’s diet consists of leaves, bushes, twigs, fruits and bark.
You have probably heard the saying, “you’ve got a memory like an elephant.” While elephants are known to have exceptional memories, the truth is that elephants can forget things from time to time. Like, who has not forgotten something here and there?
From the time they are born, elephants have to learn so much to survive. Elephant babies have to learn basic life skills similarly to humans. Elephants retain all the information they learn so that they can pass it down to their offspring.
One thing that is not a myth is that African elephants are at risk of captive extinction. One of the most important African elephant facts to remember is that zoo deaths have exceeded the birth rates. At For Elephants, we conduct research to prevent captive extinction and make informed conservation changes. You can contribute to saving the African Elephants with a small donation.