19 Oct 2016 A glimpse into the elephant world – part 2, by Adine Roode
In our previous elephant blog, we gave you a glimpse into what snooze time looks like for an elephant. They don’t need as much shuteye as we do, mainly because they have to keep browsing to get enough nutrients and energy from their diet.
Luckily, elephants aren’t just about sleep – there are loads of other interesting reasons to love these animals. For example: You might know that they live in herds, but did you know that an elephant herd might vary from 10 or 20 animals to 50 or more, most of who are related?
The leader of the herd is usually a wise old cow (female elephant). Most of her followers are females with young ones in various stages of growth.
Every now and then, two or more bulls join the herd – and then things get a bit chaotic. The bulls are likely to fight each other, and one will usually drive the others away, or even kill them.
The matriarch usually keeps the younger male elephants in check, though – she keeps them safe, but also disciplines them when needs be.
The herd wanders far and wide, migrating into forests or staying close to a good supply of water during the dry season.
The daily life of an elephant herd often follows a routine. In the morning hours the animals may travel to a nearby river. There they drink and bathe. After bathing, they feed on trees and other plants for several hours, pausing in some shady areas for a midday rest.
They may feed far into the night before taking another rest period. But, as we now know, rest for an elephant is something quite short and sweet!