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Our elephant friends are an interesting bunch so we’ve compiled 5 surprising facts about our pachyderm friends …


1. The African elephant is the largest living land mammal!

Male African elephants can reach 3.3 meters (11ft) tall and weigh between 4,000kg (4.4 tons) and 7,500kg (8.3 tons).

Asian elephants are slightly smaller, reaching up to 2.7 meters (9ft) tall and weighing between 3,000kg (3.3 tons) and 6,000kg (6.6 tons).

Photo: Shannon Wild

2. Elephants walk on their toes!

Despite the huge size of their feet, they put the most pressure on the outer toes of their front feet and the least amount of pressure on their heels. They can run up to 40km per hour but it’s the only terrestrial mammal who can’t jump!

Photo: Shannon Wild

3. Elephants have 5” eyelashes!

Their eyelashes can grow up to five inches in length - no falsies for them! Studies have shown that the ideal length for eyelashes is approximately one-third of the total length of the eye, which helps to prevent the eyes from drying out.

Photo: Shannon Wild

4. Elephants can snorkel!

When they swim in deep water, they use their trunk to breathe like a snorkel. The elephant’s trunk is a fusion of its nose and upper lip. It is the elephant’s most important limb that they also use for smelling trumpeting, drinking and grabbing things.

Photo: Shannon Wild

5. The elephant’s gestation period is almost 2 years!

22 months: longer than any other land animal in the world. Elephants can give birth every three to four years, but will typically only have four calves in their lifetime.

Sadly though, human elephant conflict is on the rise. Many are killed by humans for their ivory tusks or simply for sport (trophy hunting). Asian elephants face threats from tourist attractions where people pay to ride on their backs or watch them paint pictures using their trunks.

Kenya Ivory Burn 2016. Photo: Shannon Wild

They’ve also come into conflict with communities: as humans increase food supply to meet population’s needs, current elephant habitat is turned into farmland and the elephants find themselves competing for resources with people.

Knowledge is power so the fact that you’ve read this now puts you in a better position to educate others and behave ethically. Never ride elephants and beware of places that utilise animals for entertainment!

At Wild In Africa - Bracelets for Wildlife we’re dedicated to sharing knowledge to move toward a more educated and ethical world and that’s also why we donate 50% of the PURCHASE PRICE of our charity bracelets to conservation - that’s unheard of! None of this % of ‘profits’ or ‘proceeds’ business, which ends up being a tiny amount of the retail price.

Don’t be fooled and make sure to #WearYourKarma with Wild In Africa.