Find out about male elephants and their role in helping the species survive.

Male African elephant facts

Male African elephant facts
04/27/22

It’s been assumed that female elephants have played a bigger role when it comes to teaching their young important survival skills and the impact they have on the rest of the herd. Recently it has been discovered that males play a vital role in passing down skills and making sure the elephant species survive. Find out more male elephant facts and how to donate to save elephants.

What role do male elephants play?

Male elephants play an important role when it comes to helping the survival of the species. Males are in charge of teaching and passing down their skills to the younger male elephants. This keeps generations of younger elephants equipped with survival skills such as how to find food, water, socialize and mate. Eventually, the male elephants will mature and leave the herd. This happens when the elephant is around 12 to 15 years old. This is when the male elephant sets out to find a mate and migrates from herd to herd until a compatible female is found. Find out more male elephant facts below!

What is their size?

A good indicator of telling a male or female elephant apart is its size. Male elephants are bigger than female elephants. Male elephants are two feet taller than females and are double their weight. Male African elephants can weigh up to 15,000 pounds while females weigh 8,000. 

What is their appearance?

Differentiating male and female elephants comes down to more than just size. Both female and male elephants have tusks, but the males are longer and females sometimes have tusks that aren’t visible. Males are sought after and hunted for ivory due to their large tusks. Their head shape is also an indicator of what gender an elephant may be. Males tend to have more space between the eyes and forehead, meanwhile, females have a steeper angle on their forehead giving it a blockier appearance.

What are male elephants called?

When a male elephant reaches adulthood it is called a bull. Young male elephants are called a calf. A calf is anywhere between birth and four years old.

Bachelor pods

When male elephants mature and leave their pod, some go on the live on their own. However, other male elephants partake in what we call a bachelor pod. This consists of around 15 bulls and a dominant bull. These males bond and form a friendship.

How do males find their mate? 

In order to find its mate, a male elephant will leave their herd. They will start their travels to find a mate during mating season and will go from one herd to another until he finds a female who wants to mate. They constantly travel from one herd to another to reproduce.

Donate to save elephants

Support the elephants by joining ‘Herd of Heroes’. By joining this program your monthly donation will greatly impact For Elephants and the care we can provide elephants in zoos. Through research, conservation, and education we can help save the elephants from extinction. Donate today!

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