Happy Elephant Appreciation Day!
National Elephant Appreciation Day originated in 1996 to raise awareness concerning the plight of elephants.
25 Things You Should Know on Elephant Appreciation Day
- As of 2002, it was estimated that 30,000 – 50,000 Asian elephants survive in the world; some experts believe that in 2013 the number is closer to 30,000.
- More than 13,000 of the above number are maintained in human care in Asian elephant range countries.
- There are only 10 regions in all of Asia where elephant numbers total at least 1,000 individual animals.
- Although some African elephant populations are still increasing in excess of the carrying capacity of their habitat, elephants in many countries in East, Central and West Africa are subject to poaching and populations are being decimated.
- Consistently throughout Asia and Africa, human elephant conflict is on the rise. As humans increase our food supply to meet the needs of our population, existing elephant habitat is turned into cropland and the elephants find themselves competing for resources with people.
- Elephants have hair all over their bodies.
- Elephants have eyelashes.
- The African elephant is the largest living land mammal.
- The elephant trunk serves as a nose, a hand, an extra foot, a signaling device and a tool for gathering food, siphoning water, dusting, digging and much more.
- Elephants can live in nearly any habitat that has adequate quantities of food and water. Ideally, their habitat consists of an abundance of grass.
- Only the male Asian elephants have tusks.
- The tusks of elephants grow through their life. The tusks weigh over 200 pounds.
- Elephants don’t drink with their trunks, but use them as “tools” to drink with. This is accomplished by filling the trunk with water and then using it as a hose to pour it into the elephant’s mouth.
- Elephants can swim – they use their trunk to breathe like a snorkel in deep water.
- Elephants have a slower pulse of 27 and for a canary it is 1000!
- The elephant is the only mammal that can’t jump.
- The elephant’s gestation period is 22 months.
- The elephant is the national animal of Thailand.
- An elephant’s tooth can weight as much as three kilograms.
- An elephant in the wild can eat anywhere from 100 – 1000 pounds of vegetation in a 16 hour period.
- The intestines of an elephant may be 19 meters in length, or more than 60 feet long.
- Elephants purr like cats do, as a means of communication.
- In a day, an elephant can drink 80 gallons of water.
- Elephants have been known to learn up to 60 commands.
- An elephant’s trunk can hold 2.5 gallons of water.
National Geographic: Asian Elephant | African Elephant