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Scientific Name:
Loxodonta africana

Conservation Status:
Vulnerable

Where to see them: 
Mzima Springs

Fun Facts:

Elephants have four brick-sized molars.

An elephant’s trunk has over 40,000 muscles and tendons allowing them to pick up anything from a log to a single blade of grass.

Elephants are highly intelligent and acquire a large degree of information throughout their lives.

 

African Elephant

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Size 
Males average 10.5 feet tall (3.2 meters) at the shoulder; females, 8 feet (2.4 meters). Weight is up to 15,000 pounds (6,800 kilograms) for males and up to 8,000 pounds (3,600 kilograms) for females.

Range
Africa

Habitat
Grassland savanna and open woodland

Lifestyle
Elephants live in matriarchal societies and are led by the oldest female. Elephant herds are made up of related females and their calves. Male elephants will leave the herd when they reach sexual maturity and form bachelor groups before venturing out on lives of their own. Elephants love to take dust and mud baths.

Food
Elephants are herbivores and are generalized feeders. Food selection is based on both seasonal and regional availability. Elephants are both browsers and grazers. Due to their large size, elephants will eat 200-300 pounds of food a day and drink more than 100 gallons of water.

Life Cycle
Elephants can live more than 60 years. They have a 22-month gestation. Calves weigh about 200 pounds when they are born and can be up to 42 inches tall at the shoulder. Maturity is reached in the early teens, at which point males will leave the herd.  

Some of My Neighbors (IN THE WILD)
lions, zebra, wildebeest, and other savanna dwellers

Population Status & Threats
A full-grown elephant has no natural predators besides humans. Young calves and older individuals are susceptible to predation by lions and other savanna predators. While African elephants are considered vulnerable, their status in the wild walks a thin line and is determined by each range country. Disease and poaching remain a threat, but regulations on the sale of ivory have had an impact on poaching and the ivory trade.  

Zoo Atlanta Conservation Efforts
Zoo Atlanta is a member of the AZA African Elephant Species Survival Plan (SSP). Zoo Atlanta’s Conservation Endowment Fund provides financial support through the International Elephant Foundation for conservation-related activities. Zoo Atlanta and more than 100 of our fellow zoos have joined the Wildlife Conservation Society’s 96 Elephants campaign.