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THE ELEPHANT

11 Sep

THE ELEPHANT

The Elephant

This is the largest mammal on land

There are three types of elephants, African bush, African forest and Asian

There over 5000 elephants in Uganda.

Elephants have a long trunk, floppy ears, and wide thick legs

Elephants weigh up to 600kg or more

African elephants go up to 3.2m

Asian elephants go up to 2.8m

They can move up to 40km/hour

Elephants take 80% out their time feeding (16 to 18 hours)

They can eat 300 to 400kg of plant every day

They drink 110 to 190 liters of water per day

An elephant can poo about 100kg of dung every day

A group of elephants is called a herd

A young elephant is called a calf

Cow and bull are to female and male elephants respectively

An elephants lives to 60, 70 or more years

The male elephants leave their natal units at the age of 12 to 15 years

The males at this age leave their natal herd to live either singly or in small herds with other males

Adult males live a solitary life although they sometimes make small groups

During rutting season, bulls produce a lot of musth, a hormone that makes more sexually attractive and aggressive.

Rutting happens during the periods of high rainfall, females come on heat in the second half of the rainy season.

A female can be sexually mature (conceive for the first time) at the age of 10 to 12 years

Their gestation period is between 18 to 22months

As giving birth approaches, the pregnant elephant makes contact with another female in the same family unit for protection during labor

At giving birth, a female calf weighs up to 100kg and a male 120kg 0r more

Elephants produce 1 calf though sometimes can produce twins but rare cases

A calf stands up to walk 20 minutes after birth

An elephant can give birth every after 4 years

It produces 4 to five times in a life time

They communicate through vibration

Elephants are usually peaceful animals

They may be aggressive when having calves, harassed, injured or sick

They rumble to won the herd about danger

The herd makes a tight clump with the babies in the middle then move slowly facing the same direction

Elephants rarely fight but sometimes clash over females and dominance

The oldest and largest female elephant is called matriarch, this is the glue of the elephants family and responsible for the defense and looking out for each member in the herd and if she died, it could lead to dissolution of the herd

Elephants are commonly killed by humans, lions, crocodiles, tigers; hyenas;

Wild dogs, rhinos, sickness, injuries after hem selves fighting

A young elephant can be taken down by a strong lion or 6 lioness

When an elephant dies, others behave in a mourning manner

The female elephant will make loud trumpets in the presence of a dying calf

Elephants are distressed with encounter with a dead or dying member.

Elephants don’t have time because they have to feed most time to raise the required nutrients for their diet, and do not pay much attention to remains of other dead animals but when moving and meet a dead elephant, they will all stop, surround the cops, try to lift its tusks with their trunks, cautiously and gently touch its body, try to lift up its stiffened ears, the front legs and they will do this even if the dead does not belong to that particular family.

They will continue to visit the copse site even days after the first encounter.

The closest relatives like the orphans will seem to leave the site last and will make frequent visits the following days and weeks.

Sometimes some elephants will try to cover the copse with soil and vegetation.

When a matriarch dies,or any other elephant, most elephants that recognize her copse will try to pay respect to her and will even gather the tusks, skull, jaws scattered by predators and return them to its death site

Elephants have a significant role in the ecosystem

They make pathways in dense forested habitats that allow passage of other animals.

An elephant foot print can also enable a micro-ecosystem that when filled with water after rains, can provide home for tadpoles and other organisms.

Being grazers they control the amount of grass in turn reduce the risk of wild fires.

In the woodlands, they also control the d tree densities and their too much feeding

On them allows existence of other plant species and animal existence

Their huge dung provides significant fertility to the soil and allows seed dispersal encouraging multiplication of different plant species such as balanitis aegyptiaca, and borassus palms.

Elephants generate income to the country through tourism, employment opportunities, encourage infrastructure development like hotels, and so much more

They are facing a problem of habitat loss due encroachment of their home by humans in search for agricultural and settlement land caused by the increasing human population which pressures human to evade wildlife land.

illegal ivory trade( sometimes called the white gold of jihad) the encourages their poaching, wild trafficking,  which benefits a few individuals involved in the trade and leading to their extinction, they are also killed by people living near their habitats after they cross to their gardens as retaliation for their destroyed crops

 

Therefor much efforts need to fight poaching of elephant and wildlife conservation awareness

Location of elephants in Uganda

Queen Elizabeth national park 2913 elephants

Murchison falls national park 1330 elephants

Kibaale national park                 487 elephants

Kidepo valley national park     407 elephants

By kennedy migadde blick

webstar

Comments:

  • Kasiita muliro
    September 13, 2022 at 5:03 am

    This is very good research

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