Five amazing things you didn't know about Elephants

16 April 2019

Today is Save the Elephants Day. To celebrate, we wanted to share some amazing and little known facts about these beautiful animals.

Elephants will eat for 12-18 hours a day!

According to National Geographic, this feast can include up to 150kg in a single day. That's an impressive amount of food. As herbivores, their diet consists mostly of grass, fruits, vegetables and shrubs. 

Elephants can create their own sun protection

Elephants are often seen having 'dust baths' on hot days. The layer of dust that covers their skin helps to protect the Elephants from being sun damaged. Both African and Asian Elephants live in conditions where temperatures and UV can be extreme. This innovative way of protecting their skin will also help to keep them cool as temperatures start to climb and helps to protect them from parasites. Sadly, it's a behaviour they're often prevented from doing in captivity.  

Elephants can recognise their own reflection

Mirror self recognition is very rare among animals. However, a recent study found that elephants are able to recognise themselves in a mirror. Even adult babies don't have this skill until nearly two years of age. 

Elephants can be right tusked or left tusked

Elephants use their tusks as tools - often to collect food such as bark. Interestingly, elephants have a favoured tusk - similar to humans having a dominant hand! One study from 2017 found more elephants had a dominant right tusk.  

Elephants have the capacity to show empathy

Elephants have a high emotional intelligence and will forge deep and lasting relationships. They're also known to recognise individuals they've met but haven't seen in years. Herds of elephants have even been observed mourning the death of one of their own. 

These are just a few of the facts that remind us just how amazing elephants are. These beautiful animals deserve our protection.

If you're looking for something to do to help make a difference to elephants, please sign our pledge against elephant riding to help keep elephants in the wild where they belong. 

 

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