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Just the Facts - African Elephants
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Home > Elephants of Cameroon > About The Species > Just the Facts - African Elephants

Just the Facts - African Elephants

by Beth Carter
  • Elephants are the largest land animals.
  • Female elephants are cows. They can be 7-9 feet tall! Male elephants are bulls. They can be 9-13 feet tall!
  • The biggest bulls can weigh 13,000 pounds.
  • Elephant’s tusks are long teeth.
  • The elephant’s trunk is a long nose. The trunk helps elephants to breathe, eat, smell, drink, grasp, fight, and “talk.”
  • Elephants eat leaves, buds, twigs, fruit, and grasses.
  • They are vegetarians.
  • Elephants can live up to 70 years old.
  • Baby elephants are 200 pounds when they are born.
  • Elephants live in groups of 9-11. These groups are sisters and their children.
  • African elephants are very endangered. They are hunted for their ivory tusks. They are killed because they eat villagers’ crops.
  • Many elephants in Africa live in parks where they are protected.
  • Scientists from the North Carolina Zoo are studying elephants in Cameroon. They track elephants and stick them with darts. The dart makes them go to sleep for a while. The scientists put large satellite collar on the elephants. The collar makes beeps that tell where the elephant is moving. Then they wake up the elephant and he goes free.

Think About…
  • How large do you think a collar for an elephant would be? Can you cut a piece of yarn that is large enough to go around an elephants’ neck?
  • Why does it help scientists to know where elephant herds are located?
  • Could it help people in villages to know where elephant herds are traveling?
  • How can people protect elephants from poachers?

(After you think a while, ask an adult or older friend to read the African elephant FAQ with you. Be sure to look at the pictures and other materials in that article.)

mugshotAbout the author:

Beth Carter is a K-1 teacher at the Cape Fear Center for Inquiry in Wilmington, NC.

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