Savannah grassland and forests.
Grass, tree foliage, bark, herbs, leaves, shoots, twigs, roots, fruit from many plants, as well as cultivated crops on occasion.
Elephants are social animals, living in herds of breeding groups made up of females and young. Males which live alone or in small groups may associate with the females when feeding as well as breeding. Elephants roam around in search of food, consuming up to 200 kg of plant material a day. They rest in the midday heat and have one or two periods of rest at night.
Breeding occurs at any time of the year and females on heat may mate with more than one male. The female will clear a spot for birth and is helped by other females. The gestation period is 22 months after which usually one youngster is born. The calf is suckled for two years.
Hunting and habitat destruction.
The ivory trade was banned in 1989 but since 1997, limited trade has been allowed in Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, and, more recently, in South Africa. In some other African countries limited sport hunting is permitted, with the proceeds being used to fund community-based conservation programmes. There is a European Endangered species Programme (EEP) for the African elephant.
- Latin Name: Loxodonta africana
- Class: Mammals
- Order: Proboscidea
- Family: Elephantidae
- Conservation status: Vulnerable
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