Here's how long elephants live in the wild and captivitiy! 

How long do elephants live?

Hands down, elephants are a favorite animal for many people. What is not to love? They are large, adorable and beautiful. Did you know that there are two elephant species that are endangered? They are the African forest elephants and the Asian elephants. Also, African Savanna Elephants are listed as “vulnerable” meaning that they are at risk of being endangered.

How long do elephants live for? 

The age range for elephants can range, depending on several different factors. In the wild, elephants can live for upwards of 70 years. 

Females spend their whole lives in herds while males go off into bachelor groups around age 13, but often are found with the female herds as well. A herd can range in size from eight to 100. An elephant herd is often led by the oldest and wisest female in the group, the matriarch. 

One trait that elephants are known for is having an amazing memory. Elephant’s long term memory is used to find water during the dry seasons as well as for survival.  

Longest mammal pregnancy

An elephant pregnancy lasts for 22 months! Elephants have the longest gestation period of all mammals.

Female elephants can start having babies at the age of 12 years and usually only have one at a time. The average female elephants has about four offspring over her entire lifespan.    

A baby elephant’s weight can range from 200- 250 pounds. Elephant calves are known to mature at a slow pace. During their first year, they gain two to three pounds a day. After birth, they depend on their mother's milk for at least two years. 

When a young elephant calls for help, female elephants are known to rush to the baby elephant to protect, socialize and comfort the calf. A calf’s trunk has little coordination at birth and it can take months for a calf to have full control of their trunk. 

Reproduction in conservation 

In zoos, elephants have been struggling to reproduce. The numbers are quite alarming, infertility rates have gone from 22 percent to 45 percent over seven years.  Captive elephants do not get as much exercise and have a high-calorie diet while in the zoo, this plays a role in their disrupted ovarian cycle. 

Elephant conservation is more important than ever! Did you know that elephants have a large impact on the environment? They dig holes for water and as a result this helps provide water for other animals. Elephants eat a lot during the day, and when they eat vegetation it allows for new plants to grow and expand. 

How can you help with elephant conservation? You can support elephant research that benefits captive elephants to live a healthy and sustainable life. 

For Elephants works every day for elephant conservation through research. You can help save elephants from going extinct in captivity and the wild. If you would like to contribute, you can donate or purchase our apparel to raise awareness today! 

related articles

Why do elephants make great mothers?


Meet one of the most caring mothers in the wild!

read more

African Elephants and Bees


Learn how bees are helping to save elephants!

read more

Why elephants are poached


The elephant population around the globe continues to decline due to illegal poaching. How can you help this species from anywhere in the world? 

read more