Today I`m going to talk about elephants. About how wonderful and amazing this creatures are and how important is to save them. Most of all know that elephants are endangered. There number is in massive decrease, but for understand why is this happening, I will show you first some general aspects and curiosities about this gorgeous animal.
Elephants are mammals of the order Proboscidea. This group is made of really tall and large animals. They have a long trunk, used for many purposes as breathing, lifting water or grasping objects. From Proboscidea order are known only 3 species: Loxodonta africana and Loxodonta cyclotis from South Africa and Elephas maximus from Asia. This animal is the largest terrestrial mammal, he can reach a height of 3-4 m and weight 5000 kg. The biggest one was a Namibian exemplary in 1978 with height of 4,21 m and length of 10 m.
The most specials characters of elephants are the intelligence and the interspecific communication. They are on 5th place for intelligence in the world of mammals, because they have a very good memory based on lessons learned from elders. They communicate with others by touch, sight, smell and sound. Also they can use infrasound and seismic communication over long distances.
The elephants never live alone, they have a complex society in which multiple family groups come together to socialize. The reproduction process is very elaborate, because the gestation lasts for 2 years, after that calves are in the center of attention in their family. They really need their mother for at least 3 years to learn them everything, because their survival instincts are very weak and if a baby remains alone, he will have no chances to survive. But in groups, elephants can live up to 70 years in the wild. In general elephants are like humans. They have emotions like us and they are very attached to their family. For example, the baby elephant catch their mothers tail with his trunk like kids hold mothers hand.
Another aspect very interesting is the fact that elephants from Africa participate to one of the biggest migrations. In Sahara desert the water and food are very limited, and they have to move all the time to find another source of water. The distance of migration depends on their habitat and the intensity of dry and rainy season. For example, the longest migration is about 300 miles in South Africa. The leaders of the group are oldest females how knows exactly where they can find water again. This fact helps them to survive.
Elephants are very special for many reasons and we have to protect them. Why? Because they are endangered. African elephants are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Asian elephants are classed as endangered, because of ivory trade. The poachers kill hundreds elephants per year to collect their ivory tusks. Many art pieces and jewelry made of ivory are sold each year. It`s very sad to see that the „white gold of Africa” is stolen for many generations by poachers.
Only together we can stop this trade. One big step is to stop buying ivory items. We have to think that for a jewelry an elephant have to die and it`s not worth it. Please, teach your children, inform your family and friends that the ivory did not come from dead elephants, actually 70% merchants tell costumers that the ivory tusks came out naturally, like teeth and animals are not killed, but obviously that is a huge lie.
I know that an ivory object is precious and it is considered a piece of art, but much more valuable is a pair of ivory tusks in their place on elephants exactly where they belong, because this is not our jewelry it is theirs! Stop purchase ivory pieces and save the elephants! Only together we can make a better life for them!
Photography: Grant Atkinson
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