There are three different species of elephants, and one is the African forest elephant which is now considered to be critically endangered. As humans, we are the number one predator of these creatures, and there is a lot we can do to protect them from becoming extinct forever. Check out these six African forest elephant facts and learn what you can do to make a difference!
Six African forest elephant facts
African forest elephants are on average eight to ten feet tall and weigh two to five tons.
While 2,000 to 10,000-pound animals sounds huge, the African forest elephants are actually considered small in comparison to other elephant species. The typical weight for an African forest elephant is two to five tons, and the average height is eight to ten feet.
The overall appearance of the African forest elephant differs from other African elephant species. The African forest elephants have:
African forest elephants have ivory tusks, making them a target for poachers. It is estimated that 62 percent of these elephants have been killed in the last 10 years.
By the name, you can probably suspect African forest elephants live in some sort of forest habitat.
Tropical rain forests in west and central Africa are where these elephants reside. Their residency in these rain forests is essential for many things, including maintaining the biodiversity of the ecosystem and the germination of rain forest trees.
African forest elephants' pregnancy last up to 630-660 days, making it the longest gestation period of any mammal.
During this pregnancy, they typically carry only one baby and the likelihood of having twins is very rare. These elephants do have a long pregnancy as well as a slow reproductive rate. At the age of 23, African forest elephants are sexually mature.
African forest elephants are herbivores.
A majority of their diet is made up of grass, leaves, bark and fruit. These elephants also experience cravings just like us. African forest elephants crave salt and go to mineral licks and sometimes consume soil to add minerals that are missing from their diet.
Not only are African forest elephants endangered, but the entire species of African elephants is being threatened.
Threats to elephants include habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and poaching. As of 2021, African forest elephants are now considered to be critically endangered.
How to save the elephants
At For Elephants making an impact is not difficult. Are you feeling inspired reading six African forest elephant facts? Monthly payments for as little as $15 can help fund research, community and education around the world. Help elephants such as the African forest elephants who are critically endangered and join the Herd of Heroes below!