You get the impression that these elephants know exactly what they are doing. They are showing the occupants of the safari jeep that they have the right to walk very close to them if they choose to. Let’s face it, who is going to tell an elephant what to do? It gives us an extraordinarily close-up view of these African giants in their natural habitat. As the clip below shows, they truly are magnificent animals!
Watch the Incredible Clip Below
Where Do African Elephants Normally Live?
This footage was captured in the awesome Kruger National Park in Africa. Currently, the savannah elephants are found in East, Central, and Southern Africa. They tend to occupy lowland and montane forest areas as well as shrublands and many types of woodland and savanna. Historically, they had a wider distribution but had been eliminated from many areas by the 1800s.
African elephants live in female-dominated groups called herds. However, males can form small dynamic groups.
Why Do Elephants Have Tusks?
As these elephants get very close to the camera, we get an excellent view of their tusks. These are adapted incisor teeth and are made of dentine with a small enamel tip. Elephants have been hunted for the ivory that their tusks provide. It was used in piano keys until the 1900s.
Both male and female elephants have tusks and they grow continually throughout the elephant’s life. Females have the same length of tusks as males. You can use the length of an elephant’s tusks to determine their age. In this particular clip, the elephant that gets closest to the safari jeep is older.
Elephants use their tusks for digging, to help them access roots, salt, and water. They can also be seen using them to strip tree bark and mark trees. The tusks protect the trunk and are also used for defensive and offensive reasons.
How Big Are African Elephants?
These are very large animals! A bull savannah elephant can weigh over 13,000 pounds and they measure 13 feet to the shoulder. Females are smaller and can weigh over 7,000 pounds and reach over eight feet to the shoulder. This makes them the largest living land mammal. From the tip of the trunk to the tip of the tail can measure an astonishing 29 feet!
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Prasanth Aravindakshan/Shutterstock.com
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