Kenya Prides herself in so many things the beautiful sandy beaches, the big hotels and camp cottages, the waterfalls etc…not forgetting paying host to the big five . With so many National parks and reserves, Kenya hosts the big five.Cheetahs,Elephants,Lion,Rhino and Buffalo.
First, let us learn some facts about The Big Mammal – Elephant
• Elephants are the largest land animals in the world.
• The largest elephant on record was an adult male African elephant. It weighed about 24,000 pounds and was 13 feet tall at the shoulder!
• Elephants can live to be over 70 years old.
• Only one mammal can’t jump — the elephant.
• The average weight for an elephant heart is about 27 to 46 pounds!
• Elephants have a highly developed brain and the largest of all the land mammals. The brain is 3 or 4 times larger than that of humans although smaller as a proportion of body weight.
• Elephants have a slow pulse rate of 27. For a canary it is 1000!
• An elephant’s skin is an inch thick.
• Elephants have poor eyesight but an amazing sense of smell.
• At the age of 16, an elephant can reproduce, but rarely has more than four children throughout her lifetime. At birth, an elephant calf weighs about 230 lbs!
• Elephants have the longest pregnancy of all the animals. It takes a female 22 months from conception to give birth.
• Elephants purr like cats do, as a means of communication.
• Elephants prefer one tusk over the other, just as people are either left or right-handed.
• Tusks are an elephant’s incisor teeth. They are used for defense, digging for water, and lifting things.
• Elephants have four molars, one on the top and one on the bottom on both sides of the mouth. One molar can weigh about five pounds and is the size of a brick!
• The elephant trunk has more than 40,000 muscles in it.
• Elephants waive their trunks up in the air and from side to side to smell better.
• The elephant’s trunk is able to sense the size, shape and temperature of an object. An elephant uses its trunk to lift food and suck up water then pour it into its mouth.
• Elephants cry, play, have incredible memories, and laugh.
• Elephants can swim – they use their trunk to breathe like a snorkel in deep water.
• Elephant feet are covered in a soft padding that help uphold their weight, prevent them from slipping, and dull any sound. Therefore elephants can walk almost silently!
• Elephants use their feet to listen, they can pick up sub-sonic rumblings made by other elephants, through vibrations in the ground. Elephants are observed listening by putting trunks on the ground and carefully positioning their feet.
• Elephants are highly sensitive and caring animals. if a baby elephant complains, the entire family will rumble and go over to touch and caress it. Elephants express grief, compassion, self-awareness, altruism and play.
• Elephants have greeting ceremonies when a friend that has been away for some time returns to the group.
• Elephants have large, thin ears. Their ears are made up of a complex network of blood vessels which regulate an elephant’s temperature. Blood is circulated through their ears to cool them down in hot climates.
• An elephant is capable of hearing sound waves well below our human hearing limitation. The far reaching use of high pressure infrasound opens the elephant’s spatial experience far beyond our limited capabilities.
• Elephants are social creatures. They sometimes “hug” by wrapping their trunks together in displays of greeting and affection.
Elephants pay homage to the bones of their dead, gently touching the skulls and tusks with their trunks and feet. when an elephant walks past a place that a loved one has died, he/she will stop dead still; a silent and empty pause that can last several minutes.