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The African elephant's scientific name is Loxodonta africana. Loxodonta originates in Greek and means sloping tooth.

There are two extant species in Africa: the African bush elephant, Loxodonta africana and the African forest elephant Loxodonta cyclotis. 

The bush elephant is the largest living terrestrial animal and the forest elephant is the third-largest.

African elephants can eat up to about 450 kg of plants per day.

They are amongst the most intelligent species in the world, some say second only to humans.

It is believed that in the 1940s,  there were somewhere between 3 and 5 million elephants in Africa. Today there are about 700 000.

Their tusks can weigh from 23–45 kg.

The largest recorded African elephant was 4 m tall at the shoulders and weighed about 10 tonnes.

The gestation period is 22 months and they usually give birth every five years.

African bush elephants give birth to a single calf which weighs around 100 kg and is 90cm tall.

They use their tusks for digging, fighting, marking, and feeding, and they can lift up to about 200kg with them.

Herds are comprised of related females and their young, while adult males usually live alone.

Be sure to have a look at our elephant photographs.


Young African bush elephant or African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) in the veld sparring. MalaMala (Mala Mala) Game Reserve. Mpumlanga. South Africa

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