“Elephants and Their Interesting Facts”

 Have you ever wondered how interesting an elephant looks and why they are so enormous and why they have those long trunks on their faces?  Well, when you watch an elephant you will begin to notice it seems they use their trunks for everything.  For example they use them for eating, drinking, smelling, itching, fighting and just playing around.  I wonder if an elephant would survive without the big long trunk , what other characteristics elephants have besides that they are enormous and I wonder if scientist have come up with any solutions with the ivory trade?  Let’s find out!
 Here are some unique characteristics of the African Elephant.  Its’ scientific name is, Loxondonta africana.  The male can get up to ten feet in height and the female is a little smaller.  The African Elephant weighs a lot!  The male can weigh up to 6.5 tons, the female 4 tons!  Can you imagine if an elephant stepped on your toe?  The African Elephant can live up to sixty to seventy years old.  They mate at anytime and they only usually have one calf that weighs up to 250 pounds.  Their tusks are very active part of their body.  They are used for digging, barking, stripping, pushing, carrying, and jousting.
 From what I have learned, The Asian elephant has more related characteristics to the mammoth than to the African elephant.  But there is a difference between the African elephant and the Asian elephant.  For example, An African elephant has two fingers on its trunk to grab objects with and the Asian elephant has only one finger for the same characteristic.  The answer to my question about elephants surviving without their trunks is a good a question, it is not possible for an elephant to survive if  the trunk is hurt. From what I have read the trunk on an elephant is very important.  The trunk on an elephant gets very heavy.  Sometimes you will see an elephant resting them over a tusk.  Elephants don’t use their trunks to drink with, but they use them like a spoon or a fork to drink with.  They fill the trunk with water and then they insert the water into their mouth.  Also, an elephant’s trunk is a very sensitive organ.  It has over 100,000 muscle units.  No wonder an elephant rest the trunk over its tusk.  How do you think elephants breathe underneath the water?  They use their trunks like a snorkel when they are underneath the water.  So the trunk is a very important body part to the elephant.
 There is a major struggle between hunters and elephants.  It is the ivory trade.  It really started between 1979 and 1989, and it caused elephant populations to drop tremondously.  Savanannah elephants took the horrible beatings and left Africa with a very small population of elephants.  In Africa, 1977 they had 1.3 million elephants in Africa and by 1997, the population dropped to 600,000 that were still alive.  That is too many elephants to vanish away.  It is very illegal to kill an elephant in Africa humans still kill and slaughter the elephants.  There has been some resolution to this problem from scientist, that have invented a pepper-spray bomb that chases away the elephants by attacking their eyes with airborne pepper molecules.  This does not kill the elephant.  Another solution scientist are working on is green hunting. It is taking the place of sport hunting the elephants.  So what is green hunting?  Green hunting uses darts instead of bullets during the hunt.  Instead of them dying, the male, will continues spreading their genes and they are sure there will be elephants.  Hopefully green hunting will put a stop on fighting between the human and the elephant.
This research has answered a lot of my questions about elephants.  Now we know that elephants are just not enormous, but they are an interesting animal.  We also now know that their trunks are very useful to an elephant and they would not survive without them.  I am so relieved to hear there are some resolutions with the ivory trade and scientists are helping this fight between hunters and the elephants.  The ivory trade is a very important issue and hunters need to know we need elephants.

Natalie Davidson