With more than 60% of these beautiful creatures poached in the last decade alone, the forest elephant is slowly losing in a fight against extinction. Where they once thrived throughout various parts of Africa, they are now found only in the forests of Central and Southern equatorial Africa. These amazing animals are listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN. This is due to habitat loss, poaching for their tusks, hunting, war & civil unrest, and climate change.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Loxodonta cyclotis
Weight: Up to 13,000 lbs.
Length: Up to 10 feet
Height: Up to 9 feet
Lifespan: Up to 70 years
Now on to the Facts!
1.) The African forest elephant mainly uses its large tusks for digging up roots and to strip the bark off trees.
2.) Even though the forest elephant is a little smaller than the bush elephant, they are still classified as one of the largest living land animals in the world!
3.) Until recently, the bush elephant and the forest elephant were classified as being the same species.
4.) The forest elephant has straighter tusks and a different number of toe nails.
5.) Like the bush elephant, these elephants are herbivores (eat only plant matter). They mainly eat grasses, leaves, and fruit.
But wait, there’s more on the forest elephant!
6.) Sans humans, the only real predators of these critters are lions and hyenas. They pick off younger calves that stray from the herd.
7.) Deforestation of their habitats and illegal poaching for their ivory are also to blame for their decline in numbers.
Did you know…?
Their numbers have fallen from 380,000 in 1980 to 200,000, in recent years!
8.) Males are generally solitary but females and their calves live in small family groups known as herds.
9.) One method of communication is a low rumble that can be heard from miles away! This rumble sounds much like a cat’s purr.
10.) African forest elephants have 4 molar teeth each weighing about 11 lbs. and measuring about 12 inches long!
Now a Short Forest Elephant Video!
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