The African forest elephant is a beautiful animal that is quickly becoming extinct. After 62% of the species has been killed in the last decade for their ivory.
Although the World Wildlife Fund has attempted to stop poaching and prevent illegal international trade of ivory, there is real worry that these elephants will become extinct within the next 10 years.
The African forest elephant is important because it germinates rain forest trees. Seeds only germinate after passing through the elephant’s digestive system.
Here are 13 more facts about the African forest elephant:
- The animal is found mostly in the Congo Basin in the central African country of Gabon in dense tropical forests.
- There was once more than 2 million living African Forest elephants. Now there are only about 100,000.
- Elephants are killed off due to poaching for meat and ivory for international trade.
- A male elephant usually is taller than eight feet and close to 6,000 pounds.
- Baby elephants weigh approximately 230 pounds at birth.
- Believe it or not, the elephants have sensitive skin that is prone to sunburn.
- The elephant’s trunk is not only used for communication and making sounds, it is also used for drinking.
- The forest elephant in Africa mostly eats leaves, fruit and bark.
- Forest elephants make up about one-third of Africa’s elephant population.
- Forest elephants, much like humans, usually live 60 to 70 years.
- Pregnancy for the female forest elephant lasts about 22 months.
- Possessing sensitive feet, forest elephants can detect vibrations through the ground, including calls from elephants up to 10 miles away.
- Their tusks can grow to five feet long and weigh between 50 and 100 pounds.