World Conservation and Wildlife Trust

Fighting to protect the World's Marine Life, Wildlife, Biodiversity and Population.

The Elephant

General information on the Elephant

Habitat: Forest, Savannah, Marshland, Semi-desert.
Food: grass, leaves, shrubs, bark, twigs, roots and fruit.
Breeding: single calf born every few years.
Size: 6 -7.5m up to 7.5 tonnes.
Life span: 50-80 years
Status: endangered


The African elephant is found in 37 countries in Africa, they are distinguished from Asian elephants to their much larger ears, plentiful behaviour and larger physique. Males and females of the African elephant species have horns whereas only the males have horns in their closely related Asian elephant species. The African elephant has originally been classified as a single species, but time has divided them into two different subspecies- the forest and the Savannah elephant. The Savannah elephant stands the tallest, at a height of up to 4 metres and a weight of up to 12,000 kg in comparison to a height of 3 metres and a weight of up to 4,500kg of the smaller and more rounded forest elephant. 

Causes for endangerment

However both of these beautiful creatures are subject to severe threat from poaching for the illegal ivory trade, habitat destruction and traditional Chinese medicine market. It is reported that elephants are highly intelligent social creatures that create life long relationships. They cry, play and even laugh. An elephant's life span is around 50-80 years. When an elephant walks past an ivory stripped, murdered, loved one, they stop still; to sorrowfully mourn and roar. They stand vigil over the body for days, even covering it with sticks and dirt. It is estimated that poachers illegally kill 11 elephants per day. Rangers lose their lives protecting elephants against armed equipped poachers. Poachers range freely across Africa, rangers are incredibly under-staffed and under-equipped. If we do not help they will lose the battle and elephants will become extinct.

Article by RHN.