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World Elephant Day - 5 Fascinating Facts


World Elephant Day was held on August 12th to raise awareness for African and Asian elephant conservation initiatives - "Because without the elephants what kind of world would this be?" Five fascinating facts about the behemouths: 


Is that elephant hungry?

You would be forgiven for thinking that elephants are perpetually hungry when hearing the low rumbling sounds that resemble those of an empty rumbling tummy. The sound is actually a vocalization that is a form of distance communication. Scientists believe these rumbling sounds play an important role in the social and sexual behavior of elephants, enabling them to meet or avoid each other.


How clever are elephants?

An elephant's brain is much bigger than any other land animal, weighing roughly 11 pounds, which makes it one of the most intelligent animals on earth. Some studies actually indicate that elephants are superior to humans in keeping track of multiple objects in a 3D space. They also have a much more developed hippocampus than most animals, the region of the brain that is responsible for emotion and spatial awareness. Elephants commonly display signs of humor, cooperation, self-awareness, grief, compassion, playfulness and possess excellent learning abilities.

22 month pregnancy...

An elephant's gestation is the longest of any mammal at nearly 22 months! After this nearly two-year pregnancy an elephant calf weighing around 220 pounds is born. It has been proven that an elephant cow can induce labor by self-medicating with certain plants.


How do elephants stay cool?

By flapping their gigantic ears an elephant can reduce its body temperature by almost 20 degrees farenheit. Air permeates the thin skin of the elephant's ears, thereby cooling its blood as it passes through the web of vessels close to the surface. Elephants often spread their ears and face the wind to amplify this effect.  The elephant's wrinkled skin also helps them to cool their bodies by providing a larger surface that allows an elephant to release up to 75% of its body heat through its skin.


A handy trunk...

With more than 40,000 muscles and tendons an elephant's trunk is more than just a tool to collect water and strip leaves. The tip of an elephant's trunk is very sensitive and precise, able to pick up objects the size of a coin off the ground. It is also very strong, able to lift objects weighing more than 260 pounds, throw a full grown man 100 feet and drag almost two tons.



If elephants interest you, a safari to Abu Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana, should be on your bucket list. Abu offers one of the Delta's most dynamic and multi-faceted experiences, from game drives to water activities to intimate encounters with one of the most incredible elephant herds in Africa.  Travel from January 11th to March 21st will qualify for a discounted rate. Please contact us for more information. 

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