Elephants can teach humans a lot about intelligence and the importance of family. Some of these unique creatures weigh over six tons. There is so much to learn about these gentle giants. We have some fascinating facts about elephants.
When they lose a family member, elephants show signs of grief. They vocalize or even use their trunk to wrap it around the dead elephant. They will often stay with it for hours. Some elephants try to bury the animal covering it with soil and leaves.
They suck their thumb
Baby elephants “suck their thumb” in the form of sucking their trunk. They comfort themselves by doing so. This is also how the baby elephant starts to learn to control its trunk. These trunks contain up to 50,000 muscles. Some adult elephants still stuck their trunk if they are feeling stressed.
Baby elephant sucking its trunk.
Elephants could’ve produced by the thousands at one time in the US
Siam’s King Somdetch Phra Paramendr Maha Mongkut gifted President Lincoln with elephant tusks in 1861. At that time, Thailand’s King Mongkut said that Siam should send male and female elephants in pairs to the United Stated to breed. Americans were to tame the elephants to transport goods. Lincoln’s secretary of state, William Seward declined. Though thankful, he said steam power was enough for the country to transport our goods.
Elephants like to eat holiday trees
There are some zoos around the globe that feed Christmas trees that never sold to the elephants. These trees are free of pesticides and a special treat for the elephants. They seem to love the conifer trees, and the trees would just go to waste if they didn’t snack on them.
Elephants like to walk through the lobby of a Zambian hotel
If you want to see a few families of elephants strolling through your hotel lobby, visit Zambia. Between October and December each year, these elephants walk right through the reception area as they go to snack on wild mangos in a tree. Everyone seems to love the sighting, and the elephants don’t mind the people at all.
They can play baseball
Harry L. Mooney, Barnum & Bailey’s elephant trainer, worked to help elphants learn the game of baseball. In 1912, Mooney also trained elephants to do many other wild tricks. The circus marketed the tricks by putting the image of elephants playing baseball on posters in hopes to sell more tickets.
Elephants can fight fires
Some Indonesian elephants are a critical help in helping fight fires. East Sumatra had many fires in 1015. A conservation center sent 23 of its trained elephants to help. These elephants carried water pumps and hoses. They helped the firefighters patrol the land and check for new fires.
Their ears tell their species
The different species of African and Asian species are known by their ears. African elephant ears are large and shaped almost like the continent of Africa. Asian elephant ears look like the Indian subcontinent. They also have a bit of variations in their trunks.
Elephant tusks are teeth
Incisor teeth show up when they are about two years old. Their tusks are really just large incisor teeth. Tusks never stop growing. These help with how they eat. They dig up roots or get the bark off trees. They are also used for defense if they have to fight. The bad part is that these tusks are made of ivory, so many people try to steal them to make money.
They are a political symbol
Cartoonist Thomas Nast drew a symbol of an elephant in Harper’s Weekly in 1874 relating it to the Republic party. He kept drawing the animal, and the idea stuck. Other cartoonists starting using it as well. No one knows how the animal relates to the actual political party.