Elephants are highly intelligent animals with complex emotions, feelings, compassion and self-awareness. Did you know that elephants are one of very few species to recognize themselves in a mirror? Even though they are so bulky, these animals are very sensitive. Through their giant feet have soft soles and can sense low frequency vibrations, caused by other elephants, cars or trains. The gestation period of an elephant is nearly 2 years: 22 months, the longest pregnancy of any mammal! Elephants can get sunburned, and protect themselves by throwing sand on their backs and their head. Baby elephants are initially blind and some take to sucking their trunk for comfort in the same way that humans suck their thumbs. Elephants have no natural predators.However, lions will sometimes prey on young or weak elephants in the wild.
Elephants help maintain forest and savanna ecosystems for other species and are integrally tied to rich biodiversity. Elephants are important ecosystem engineers. They make pathways in dense forested habitat that allow passage for other animals. Currently, international elephant conservation measures focus on controlling ivory stockpiles, establishing and strengthening the borders of protected reserves, anti-poaching patrols, and preventative methodologies to reduce human-elephant conflicts.
What can you do to help save these animals?
Elephant rides are such a popular event, especially for tourists. But most of the times the conditions in which elephants used for riding are living are not really species appropriate. If you want to get in contact with these gentle giants please refrain from elephant rides. Better book a tour within a sanctury or use the option to feed them here in Emirates Park Zoo during our Elephant Encounters!
Asian elephant: 48 years, African bush elephant: 60 – 70 years, African forest elephant: 60 – 70 years
Greasslands and tropical rainforests across Asia
Asian elephant: 2.8 m, African bush elephant: 3.2 m
2-5 tonnes.(2000 kg to 5000kg)
They can reach 6.4m in length and 3m at the shoulder