Awe-ducational: African Elephants

Each month in Awe-ducational we will explore a new animal, appreciate its cuteness, and hopefully learn something new. This week’s animal is the African Elephant. The African Elephant has the distinction of being the largest land animal in the world, its size is only bested by some whales. A full grown male can weigh as much as 13,000 pounds. African Elephants are herbivores (plant eaters); a single elephant can eat more than 300 pounds of food, and drink 30-50 gallons of water, in a single day.

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When a baby elephant is born it weighs about 250 pounds. Within fifteen minutes of birth the baby will stand, with a little help from its mother. A mother elephant nurses its children for three or four years, and takes care of that baby for ten years or more.

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Poachers (illegal hunters) pose a major threat to the African Elephant’s survival. Elephants are hunted for their tusks, and as a result the elephant population saw a dramatic decrease during the twentieth century. Despite it being illegal in many countries to hunt elephants the practice continues today; however, there are many people working hard to save the elephants, which is good news for the future of the African Elephant.

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If you want to learn more about the African Elephant you can visit the juvenile non-fiction section at the Auburn Hills Public Library. Here are some books that you can check out on the topic:

African Elephant Up Close by Carmen Bredeson The Elephant Scientist by Caitlin O'Connell
The African Elephant by John Albert Torres African Elephants: Giants of the Land by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent