African Savannah Elephants

African savannah elephants are endangered species as per the update from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The African savannah elephants, also known as bush elephants, are the world’s largest terrestrial mammal, with curved out tusks. The forest elephants however, another subspecies of elephants, are darker in contrast to the African bush elephants and have their tusks more straight and pointed downward unlike their counterparts the African savannah elephants.  

African savannah elephants, whose scientific name is Loxodonta Africa, weigh from 2000 to 6100kg with a size of up to 4 meters and a lifespan of 60-70 years. African bush elephants have their habitat as the open and closed savanna, grasslands and arid deserts, and are a herbivorous in nature. Female African bush elephants have a gestation period of about 22 months, and it is humans that are the highest predators of African bush elephants, and occasionally lions and hyenas as well.

African bush elephants are native to 37 African countries, with about 415,000 individuals still left in the world. With this a population of African savanna elephants, they were declared endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in 2021. African savannah elephants lives in any inhabitant that provides plentiful food and water, with populations spread throughout the savannah areas of sub-Saharan Africa, with about 70% of the total population in protected areas like game reserves and national parks.

African Savannah Elephants
African Savannah Elephants

Challenges faced leading to African savannah elephants becoming an endangered species.

There are a number of reasons that led to the decline in the population of elephants that African savannah elephants are endangered species now. Below are some of the challenges leading to the listing of African savannah elephants as endangered species;

  • Elephant poaching and high demand for ivory. African savannah elephants are endangered species because of the high poaching for the tusks of elephants, for ivory which is highly demanded for. The large tusks which the African savannah elephants use for foraging and holding onto things, have been highly desired by people, thus ivory trade and poaching.
  • Long gestation period. The long gestation period of elephants, which is one of the longest among mammals, has female elephants having a gestation period of about 22 months and bearing only one calf at the end of it all, usually every six years.

Coupled with poaching, long gestation periods thus have resulted in the drastic decrease in the population of African savannah elephants.

Solutions to the decrease of African savannah elephant population include raising awareness to end ivory trade and demand, empower community members to wholesomely accept the existence of elephants and thus co-exist with them, as well as allow them enough room to roam that is to say, avail a favourable and large enough habitat.

Behaviours of African savanna elephants

Elephants are friendly. African bush elephants, just like humans, are mammals and very social ones at that that they live in families or groups called herds, usually consisting of an older matriarch and several generations of females and relatives. Male African savannah elephants are however quite solitary, that once matured may live in small groups of about 3 or four individuals.

Diet of African bush elephants. African bush elephants usually spend their time eating, no wonder their size. Elephants spend most parts of their day roaming the vast savannah grasslands, moving longer distances foraging for grass, fruits, bark and roots. Elephants can eat up to 136kg per day.

Long nose. Elephants have a very long nose, which also doubles as an arm. Trunks of elephants are their noses, used for breathing, smelling, drinking, trumpeting, as well as grabbing objects that they are referred to as an arm as well sometimes. Elephants also use their trunks to exhibit affection.

African Savannah Elephants
African Elephant

Of the 37 African countries that African savannah elephants inhabit, Tanzania is one of the best destinations for elephant viewing. Whereas elephants can be found almost in all game reserves and national parks of Tanzania, Tarangire National park and Lake Manyara National Park are the best destinations to visit for amazing elephant viewing. Travellers who do take on Tanzania safari tours in Tarangire National park and Lake Manyara National Park get to sight huge herds of African bush elephants, with some herds having up to 300 individuals.

Consider visiting Tanzania on a Tanzania safari tour for an opportunity to encounter African bush elephants, notwithstanding the fact that African savannah elephants are endangered species. Get in touch with a reputable tour operator to help you pitch together an amazing Tanzania safari tour for an opportunity to sight large herds of African bush elephants in their natural habitat.

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