Elephants Cause Traffic Jam
Where else in the world would you see this?
Recently a herd of totally mature Elephants bulls moved into Victoria Falls Town. They wander through the suburbs doing what they do, which is eat…. a lot.
It’s quite surreal to witness these mighty animals which can a crush a car with a single blow of their trunk, peacefully going about their business. In most cases completely unperturbed by humans.
The town is built upon ancient elephants trails and these animals believe, rightly so, that it’s just part of their feeding grounds, they have no idea of boundaries or why a concrete wall is there, all the Elephant knows is that if that if the leaves smell good they are going to eat them. So a small wall is not going to deter him. Many residents a have been very upset with these great grey creatures as they have caused extensive damage to their property.
What’s even more amazing with this herd of mature bulls is that they have adopted and are protecting a small elephant calf, which at its age should be still suckling on its mother’s milk. No one has any idea why this youngster has broken away from the breeding herd and is with these bulls but at the moment all is well and the baby is doing just fine.
The group have been nicknamed the "Urban Legends and the Street Kid"
The most characteristic feature of elephants is their elongated "trunk" or "proboscis", which is a fusion of nose and upper lip. It has been found out that an elephant trunk has more than 40,000 muscles. The trunk is used for various purposes such as feeding, drinking, defending, interaction with others and also as a sensory organ.
"Tusk" or "ivory", which is another extraordinary feature of an elephant, is nothing but the second upper incisor that grows continuously. An elephant may be either right-tusked or left-tusked as we are right or left handed.
The skin of elephant is about 2.5 cm thick and covered with light hairs.
Elephants usually wallow in mud to generate heat and also to protect from the harmful rays of the sun and insects.
The African Elephant has large ears with a network of veins, by flapping the ears the blood in the veins is cooled and in doing so the Elephants body temperature is maintained.
Elephants are herbivores and eat about 5% of their body weight. They spend nearly 16 hours a day in eating, however only 40% of the ingested food gets digested. They drink about 30-50 gallons of water.
Females mature at about 11 years of age and stay in breeding herds with the other older females. Whereas males mature between 12 to 15 years of age and then moved in bachelor herds.
Adult female elephant is called "cow" and adult male elephant is called "bull". The sexual features are not so distinct for both males and females, and are often confused during identification. Male possesses internal testes, which can’t be seen and female possesses two teats between her front legs. Usually females are identified by their pronounced forehead, which is not present in the case of males.
The gestation period is 22 months, which is the longest of all the existing land animals. One calf is born at a time (very rarely twins). The young calf is nearly blind. It uses its trunk to explore its surroundings and relies on elders of that certain group. At birth, an elephant calf weighs about 100-120 kilograms and is about 2.5 feet tall.
An elephant may live as long as 60-70 years. However, the oldest recorded elephant is 82 years.
In fact, they are quite gentle creatures and have no natural enemies. But, in spite of their calmness and non-disturbing character, it is very unfortunate to say that elephants have been listed as an "endangered animal" because of their declining population. Both the African Elephant and the Asian Elephant are included in the endangered species list. Their population decreases mainly because of habitat loss and human poaching for ivory and flesh.