“As the world’s largest land mammal, elephants are incredibly powerful creatures, capable of completely altering environments by uprooting bushes and tearing down entire trees. Despite their strength, elephants are very dexterous. Using the nearly 100,000 muscles in its trunk, an elephant can use the tip of it to pick a single leaf off a branch.”
Elephants, unlike sleepy species like the polar bear, are very active and spend most of their time foraging food or otherwise bathing in water or mud. The rest while standing, but lie down for a few hours every night for actual sleep.
In the wild, female elephants live on average 54 years and males 39, though they can live up to 65 years (maximum for female) and 60 years (maximum for male). Unlike some other species vulnerable to the threats of the wild, elephants will actually live 14 years less, on average, when in captivity. For elephants, the fresh air of the wild does a body good.
“Between 1960 and 1990, elephant populations in East Africa suffered a huge decline, as 85 to 98 percent of elephants were killed for their ivory. Despite these decimations, Tanzania and Kenya maintain a significant elephant presence. Today, there are an estimated 25,000 elephants in Kenya, though poaching continues to threaten this number.” Learn more from the Mpala Live Field Guide.