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