Elephants eat all kinds of vegetation. Wild elephants eat about 220 to 440 lbs of grass, fruits, leaves, and roots per day. Each day our elephants each eat 250 -300 lbs of hay, 10 -20 lbs of mixed grains, 10 lbs of special elephant pellets, 25 lbs fresh produce, fresh cut bamboo, and elephant grass grown at the ranch. They wash this down with over 100 gallons of water!
The largest elephant on record was a male African. He weighed 24,000 lbs (10,886 kg) and was 13 feet tall at the shoulders. Our elephants are Asian and do not grow that large. The females can weigh up to 9,000 lbs (4,090 kg) and the males up to 17,000 lbs (7,727 kg) and grow to be over 10 feet in height.
- Elephants live longer in captivity.
- Our elephants live in Florida on a ranch built just for elephants!
- Elephants are vegetarians.
- Elephants can reach a weight of over 17,000 lbs.
- There are more muscles in an elephant’s trunk than the entire human body.
- Elephants are NOT scared of mice.
- Baby elephants cannot use their trunk when they are born.
- Elephants are very social and have aunts to help take care of the babies.
- We work with our elephants using energy, voice, and body language.
- Elephants do not sweat.
- Elephants can use low-frequency sounds to communicate.
- Even today elephants are being poached for their ivory!
Why do they have spots?
Most Asian elephants have some skin pigmentation, or “freckles” as we call them. This is usually more noticeable on the ears and face of clean animals.
Why do they sway?
Although there is no final answer on this, the most agreed-upon answer by elephant specialists is that elephants sway to shift their weight and be more comfortable.
Can they run?
Technically, elephants are incapable of running. However, they can walk very fast, reaching speeds of 18-20 mph.
How long do they live?
The oldest elephant ever recorded died at the age of 82. His name was “Raja” and he lived in captivity in Sri Lanka. Typically they live 40-50 years in the wild and 65-80 in captivity.
How many muscles are in their trunk?
The number of muscles in an elephant’s trunk is estimated to be as high as 100,000! The human body only has 639.
Do they like to work?
There has been a study done on this, and it was found they do look forward to performing chores, and that they perk up and seem to wait for the opportunity to please and be involved in the actions of their trainer and the surrounding family
Range: Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia, and national parks in South Africa.
Habitat: Grassland, savanna, and open woodland.
Traits: Large ears shaped like the continent of Africa, visible tusks in males and females, wrinkly skin, swayed backs, and “fingers” at the end of their trunk.
Estimated Wild Population: As many as 27 million in the 19th century; in 2002, only 400,000 - 660,000. The decline can be linked to three major factors: (1) the demand for ivory, (2) desertification, and (3) conflicts with humans for land use. From 1860 to 1930, 25,000 to 100,000 elephants were killed for their ivory each year.
Range: India, Nepal, China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Southeast Asia.
Habitat: Scrub forest and rain forest.
Traits: Smaller ears than the African, tusks only in males, smoother skin, only one “finger” on the trunk, and dome-shaped backs.
Estimated Wild Population: About 200,000 in the 1900s; by 2005, only 40,000. This decline is largely due to destruction and fragmentation of their habitat, as well as crop damage and hunting. 100 years ago there were
approximately 100,000 elephants in Thailand alone; it has dropped to about 2,000 in the wild and 3,000 in captivity. Estimated populations fall over 3% per year. The Asian elephant’s situation is critical - just over 5% of its original habitat remains!