Facts About the African Elephants: African elephants are the world’s biggest terrestrial creatures. They are significantly bigger than their Asian counterparts and may be distinguished by their longer ears that resemble the African continent; the ears of Asian elephants are smaller and more rounded.

Despite being previously thought to be one species, scientists have discovered that there are two types of African elephants, both of which are endangered. Savanna elephants are bigger creatures that inhabit on the plains of Sub-Saharan Africa, whereas forest elephants live in the forests of Central and West Africa. Savanna elephants are listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, whereas forest elephants are listed as severely endangered.

African elephants are part of the ecosystem, which means they are essential to their environment. Elephants, sometimes known as “ecosystem engineers,” change their environment in a variety of ways. During the dry season, they dig up dry riverbeds and create drinking holes from which numerous animals may drink. Their feces is rich in seeds, allowing plants to spread across the environment—and it also serves as an excellent home for dung beetles, Facts About the African Elephants

Tusks and Trunks

Elephant ears emit heat to help keep these enormous creatures cool, but the African heat may be oppressive at times. Elephants like taking baths by drawing water into their trunks and splashing it all over themselves. Following that, they often sprinkle their skin with a protective dust layer.

The trunk of an elephant is basically a long nose that is used for sniffing, breathing, trumpeting, drinking, and grasping things—especially a possible meal. The trunk alone has over 40,000 muscles. African elephants have two finger-like characteristics on the end of their trunk that they may use to pick up tiny objects. Meanwhile, Asian elephants only have one.

Facts About the African Elephants
African elephants

Both the male and female African elephants have tusks with teeth that develop all the time. Forest elephants have straight tusks, but savanna elephants have bending tusks. These tusks are used to dig for food and water as well as to peel bark from trees. Males, whose tusks are bigger than females’, use their tusks to fight one another.

Diet of African Elephants.

Elephants consume grasses, roots, fruit, and bark. In a single day, an adult elephant may devour up to 300 pounds of food. These ravenous animals do not sleep much, since they travel long distances seeking for the vast amounts of food required to support their massive bodies.

African elephants may be found in Sub-Saharan Africa’s savannas as well as Central and West Africa’s rainforests. The Sahel Desert of Mali is home to the continent’s northernmost elephants. In quest of water, a small nomadic herd of Mali elephants migrates in a round pattern through the desert.

Given that elephants consume quite a lump sum, they are continuously coming into contact with humans. In a single night, an elephant may ruin an entire season’s worth of crops. A variety of conservation projects with farmers to secure their crops and compensate them when elephants raid them.

African Elephant Herds.

Elephants are matriarchal, which means they live in groups led by females. The matriarch is generally the largest and oldest member of the family. She rules over a multigenerational herd that comprises other females known as cows and their offspring. Adult males, known as bulls, tend to travel alone, occasionally forming smaller, loosely connected all-male groups.

Having a baby elephant requires a significant time commitment. Elephants have the longest pregnancy of any mammal, lasting over 22 months. Cows typically have one calf every two to four years. Elephants weigh roughly 200 pounds and stand about three feet tall at birth.

Threats to the survival of the African Elephants.

Poaching

Poaching for the illicit ivory trade is the greatest danger to the survival of African elephants. There might have been as many as 26 million elephants in Africa before European colonization. By the early twentieth century, their population had shrunk to 10 million. Hunting has becoming more popular. By 1970, their population had shrunk to 1.3 million. Between 1970 and 1990, hunting and poaching drove the African elephant on the verge of extinction, halving its number, Facts About the African Elephants

Habitat Loss

African elephants are also losing habitat as human populations increase and land is converted for agriculture and construction. Elephants require a lot of space, so habitat degradation and fragmentation not only makes it more difficult for them to locate food, water, and each other, but it also increases their confrontation with humans.

How to protect the African Elephant from extinction?

The decision to classify African elephants as two distinct species is regarded as a significant conservation move since it underlines the distinct issues that each species faces. Scientists believe that the classification would draw greater attention to forest elephants, who have frequently been missed by governments and donors when mixed up with more prominent savanna elephants.

Stopping the illegal trade is critical to reducing poaching. Campaigns have been initiated by advocates to address both the supply (poaching) and demand sides (people who buy ivory). In recent years, there has been some development, particularly on the demand side: China, which is thought to have the world’s largest illicit and legal ivory market, agreed to a “near-complete” ban on domestic ivory trafficking in 2015. The public desire for ivory appears to have decreased since the prohibition went into force.

Protecting elephants from poaching necessitates a local strategy on the supply side as well. A 2019 study found that elephant suffering is linked to the suffering of humans living nearby: regions with high levels of poverty and corruption are more likely to have greater poaching rates. This implies that assisting people in developing sustainable lifestyles may diminish the allure of poaching.

In summary; If you wish to see the African elephant during your Rwanda safari, book with us a wildlife tour in Akagera national park. You will also get a chance to see a number of wildlife species such as the hippos, rhinos, Cape buffalo, Nile crocodile, sitatunga and antelopes to mention but a few.

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