19 Fun Facts About Elephants

Thailand is known for its elephants and, more recently, for its animal sanctuaries that help care for and protect elephants. Because of all this attention on elephants, it’s time to test your knowledge of elephants. See how many of these 19 fun facts you already knew!

  • Elephants are the largest mammals that live on land, at least. Whales can be bigger but live in the oceans.
  • Wild elephants live in families, usually made up of females and calves, called herds.
  • The herd’s leader is usually the oldest female. She is the matriarch. The older male elephants live on their own.
  • A mother elephant gets help with babies from other female elephants. They are known as aunties and will help with babies until they are grown.
  • A male elephant stays with the herd until about the age of 15 years. This age is when the male elephant will leave the herd and go on his own.
  • Elephants don’t eat meat. They do eat a wide variety of plants and fruits.
  • Elephants love bananas and can peel them with their trunks. Now that’s hard to do!
  • Elephants love water. You can see them play, bathe, and swim in the water. They have even been known to splash passers-by with water for fun, so watch out!
  • Elephants drink at least 50 gallons of water every day. Try to drink just one gallon and see if you can do it.
  • Elephants take up water into their trunk and spray it into their mouths. Don’t try that one yourself!
  • Elephants can pick up small items with their trunks but also huge ones! Elephants have been known to pick up trees.
  • There are Asian elephants and African elephants. Their trunks are different at the tip.
  • Elephants are very protective of their trunks. They are very sensitive and used for so many things important to an elephant’s health and well-being.
  • Elephants, on average, live to 70 years old. That is amazing!
  • Elephants cry when they are upset. Elephants are the only animals known to grieve for the dead.
  • Elephants trumpet when they are happy. They also make noises that squeak.
  • Elephants have amazing memories. That’s why you will often hear it said that you should never do something that an elephant would consider you were causing harm to her or her calf. She will not forget!
  • Elephants are frightened of dogs. And people have a difficult time controlling their dogs around other animals so don’t plan on bringing your dog near elephants.

Erin Imogen

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