ELEVEN ENTHRALLING ELEPHANT FACTS

By CHANTAL COOKE   

 

These are a few enthralling elephant facts I picked up on a Tropical Trails safari in Tanzania – with thanks to our wonderful guide Wilson Mollel…

1)      Elephants eat on average 300kg of food every 22 hours (they spend approximately two hours in every 24 resting)

Amazing tusks on an African Elephant
Amazing tusks on an African Elephant

2)      They only digest about 60% of the food they swallow, the rest passes through them into their dung – which they produce every hour

Warthogs
Warthogs

3)      Warthogs like to eat elephant dung as it’s full of part digested fibre – which is easier (i.e. requires less energy) for the Warthog to digest

4)      Local Masai people use dried elephant dung as a medicine for headaches – they add water and heat it and then inhale the vapours

5)      Between an elephants ear and eye is a secretion glad which drips water – this is how an elephant sweats

Elephant from behind
Elephant from behind

6)      An elephant’s ear print is as unique as a human fingerprint

7)      Elephants can smell water up to three miles away

8)      They can suck up between seven and nine litres in their trunk in one go

Baby elephant
Baby elephant

9)      If they can’t find open water, elephants will deep dig into the dry river bed to expose water below the surface

10)  Before the seeds of the Acacia tree can germinate they need to have been eaten and then excreted by an elephant

Hadzabe
Hadzabe

 

11)  The Hadzabe bushmen use a tiny amount of dried elephant dung to help light their smoking pipes

FACT BOX

 

Chantal
Chantal Cooke

About the Author:

Chantal Cooke is an award winning journalist and broadcaster with a passion for the planet. In 2002 she co-founded the award winning radio station PASSION for the PLANET and in 2009 Chantal was awarded London Leader in Sustainability status. Chantal also runs a successful communications agency – Panpathic Communications.

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