The three ways elephants stay hydrated in the wild. 

How Elephants Find Water

All living things need two things to survive: food and water! For us humans, we go to our local grocery stores and purchase the food and water we need.

Animals in the zoos get their food and water from zookeepers. Animals in the wild have to go out and search for their necessities.

Are you curious about how the world’s largest land mammal finds its water in the wild? Check out three ways elephants stay hydrated in their natural habitats. 

How much water do elephants drink

Elephants are the world’s largest land mammal. Between both species of elephants, the African elephant is the largest. It stands between 8.2 to 13 feet. The Asian elephant is smaller in comparison at 6.6 to 9.8 feet tall. 

With elephants being so large, they need lots of water to stay hydrated! Elephants can drink up to 50 gallons of water every day! This amount of water is equivalent to the size of a bathtub. That is why these animals are always on the move in the wild!

For how long can elephants survive without water?

When times get tough for elephants, they can go up to four days without water! Their ability to go this long without water comes in handy when they are migrating from one location to another. 

How do elephants find water

Bodies of water

Elephants in the wild get their water from lakes, rivers, ponds or watering holes. Yes, watering holes exist in the wild, not just in the movies. These water sources are available for these animals in the savannas and forests. 

Things can become a problem during the dry seasons, though. The lakes and watering holes can start to dry up, making living conditions difficult. When this occurs, elephants must travel to find other sources of water. 

Baobab trees

African elephants are not only large but also strong and intelligent. These mammals know that inside baobabs, there is reserved water. During dry seasons, these trees help elephants stay hydrated. Baobabs can store up to 100,000 liters of water inside. 

During the dry season, elephants know that they can retrieve water from inside the trees. The elephants will start to rip the bark off and then break into the inside of the tree. They will then chew on the flesh of the tree to retrieve the water. 


Elephants have a strong sense of smell. These brilliant creatures can smell water that is stored underground! When there are extreme droughts, these animals will start to dig in locations where there is water. 

Elephants can smell water from 5 kilometers away. Once they find the water sources, they will use their trunks and feet to create holes where water can start to rise. Not only do these holes help elephants, but also the smaller creatures. 

As you can tell from above, elephants play an essential role in their ecosystem. Losing elephants will make an enormous impact on the ecosystem! You can help elephants stay alive by donating to our elephant research that helps elephant conservation. Donate today!

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