The very definition of the term ‘massive’, elephants reach heights of up to 14 feet or four meters and is the largest land animal known to man.
They are also wicked smart, which is not surprising, as they have the biggest thinking machines, otherwise known as brains, of any land animal.
Remarkably similar to humans in a number of ways, elephants live in close-knit family groups of up to ten, demonstrate impressive problem-solving abilities, and even seem to demonstrate self-awareness.
Elephants have long been prized for their tusks and use as working animals. Today regulations are in place to ensure human interaction remains responsible, but infringements are a regular occurrence.
Development of farms and living spaces also affects elephants who need a large roaming territory. They eat massive quantities of grasses and leaves each day and pull up trees in search of water, which they detect with their impressively keen sense of smell. In so doing, they help the natural habitat and other animals by dispersing seeds and creating new water sources. However, when elephants are restricted to a space that is too small for them they can cause deforestation.
Well-meaning but uninformed international visitors can also inadvertently support practices that help unscrupulous operators harm elephants. Learning more about this unique species and ethical elephant volunteering practices are the first steps you can take toward helping to conserve elephant populations.
Until then, learn more by completing our elephant facts quiz. Be sure to share your new knowledge with family and friends afterward.