Amazing facts about elephants
The only elephant in the room should be me.
Not the fact that more than 33,000 are killed each year. For ivory trinkets.
Elephants are among the world’s most intelligent, gentle animals and possess both empathy and self‐awareness. They live in close family groups that are now being torn apart by a wave of poaching that has spread across Africa due to the growing demand for ivory.
And because the majority of us will never be exposed to an elephant, it’s easy to neglect these, ironically, forgotten creatures.
Here are a few reasons to remind you why the beloved pachyderms are so elephant-astic.
Elephants have social networks.
- Much like us, elephants rely on a social network for survival. (Only their definition of “I’m dying” doesn’t mean their Instagram post only got 30 likes.) Elephants have over 200 calls and signals for different purposes—to warn others of danger, secure their defense, coordinate group movements, reconcile differences, attract mates, reinforce family bonds, and relay their needs and desires.
- Elephants are the only living creatures apart from humans to actually have death rituals. When an elephant dies, other elephants of the group gather around the deceased and cover the body with leaves, twigs and sand.
Elephants are self-aware. And empathetic.
- Emory University researchers found that when put in front of a mirror, elephants are super vain. Just kidding! They found that elephants are able to recognize themselves as individuals rather than just part of a pack. This sense of self-awareness, in turn, allows for for elephants’ social and altruistic habit. Helping one another out is a regular part of life in an elephant herd—they are even known to make “chirping" noises just to make each other happy.
Elephants are brilliant.
- Elephants are some of the most intelligent animals on Earth. Their brains have more complex folds than every animal (except whales), which is thought to be a major factor in their intellect. They commonly show grief, humor, compassion, cooperation, self-awareness, tool-use, playfulness, and excellent learning abilities.
Elephants are almost extinct.
- African elephants may be extinct by 2020. Asian elephants have been on the endangered species list since 1986 due to poaching and deforestation.
It’s a sad reality that one of the most magnificent, historic creatures risks extinction for superficial, ornamental reasons. So, while you may not know a world with elephants, if change doesn’t happen soon, you will certainly know one without them.
Wear your heart on your chest,
and check out The Vegan Age elephant collection.