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The Majestic African Elephant

The Kruger National Park is world famous for its beautiful landscapes, amazing animals and stunning plantlife and the Park has a lot for the guests to see. One of the Kruger National Park’s most iconic animals, that is also a member of the Park’s most popular attraction. The African Elephant is the largest member of the Big 5 and is also the largest land animal on earth. There is a lot of mystery and intrigue regarding the Elephant and we are going to branch out your knowledge about this fascinating creature.

There are currently three different members of the Elephant on earth, The African Bush Elephant, The African Forest Elephant and The Asian Elephant, with the African Bush Elephant being the largest of the three. For this description we are going to focus on the African Bush Elephant. The African Elephant has a very hard but thin skin that protects its body from a majority of scrapes and bumps as well as bites from smaller animals. The colour of its skin is largely dependent on the mud that it rolls around in. Elephants love rolling around in mud pools that can vary their colour from dark brown to a light clay brown. Elephants roll around in mud pools and water holes to not only keep cool but to also hydrate their skin. The Elephant’s large ears have multiple functions that aid the elephant. The elephant’s ears allow it to have incredible hearing. Their very large ears also help this large animal cool down as the blood vessels in the ears help regulate temperature. The ears of an Elephant are also used to display emotion and is key to help tell if an elephant will charge. When it flaps its large ears and starts shaking its head it is clear the animal is very agitated.

The Trunk of an elephant is a wonderful appendage that helps the elephant with a variety of tasks. The elephant uses its trunk to breathe, bring food and water to its mouth, spray itself with water and even pick up objects. An Elephant’s trunk is so precise that it can pick up a R5 Coin from the ground with ease. The elephant’s large tusks are also a very iconic trait and also serves its own functions. The tusks are used for self-defence as well as to push objects around. There used to be a group of very unique elephants in the early years of the Kruger National Park known as the Magnificent 7. The group was known world wide for their insanely large tusks and fell under a category of elephants known as Tuskers, elephants that had much larger tusks than other elephants.

Elephants have a long lifespan of 70 years and dominance is usually shown with age. Elephant herds contain only females and calves and are led by a much older and more experienced Matriarch. Elephants have a very strong maternal instinct and are very protective of their calves. The maternal instinct of elephants are so strong that they will adopt calves that lost their parents into their own herd and raise them as their own.