DID YOU KNOW?
- Population: Fewer than 100k
- Life span: 60 to 70 years
- Weight: 3 to 6.6 tons
- Height: Nearly 3 meters in height (nearly 10 feet)
Disgusting (and Interesting) Facts
- They consume soil which provides them with necessary minerals missing from their diets.
- More than 60% have been poached in the last decade.
- The African Forest Elephant has long straight tusks that it uses to clear away vegetation in the dense forest.
- In spite of being rather destructive in this manner, elephants are actually being spectacular gardeners and having a positive impact on the plants of the forest.
- African Forest Elephants play an important role in seed dispersal. When elephants travel through the forests they brush past plants. The seeds of the plants latch on to the elephants’ rough skin and are spread far and wide when they are dropped from their skin. This helps plants to spread and the forest to regenerate.
“Analysis of 855 Elephant dung piles suggested that forest Elephants disperse more intact seeds than any other species or genus of large vertebrate in African forests, while GPS telemetry data showed that forest elephants regularly disperse seeds over unprecedented distances compared to other dispersers.”
- When African Forest Elephants travel through vegetation they clear paths that other animals rely on.