While I was doing research for Chained, I learned some cool things about elephants:

elephant friends greeting

elephant friends greeting

Elephants have lifelong friendships, and recognize friends or family members they haven’t seen for many years



Chester zoo elephant herd calf

Elephants are vey protective and will surround the calves if they sense danger nearby

African elephant herd

A long-distance call: some sounds elephants make are too low for you to hear even if you’re standing nearby, but an elephant two miles away will hear them


Asian elephant with calf

An elephant pregnancy lasts almost two years! A baby elephant can stand up and walk the day it’s born, but will be a little wobbly on its feet. The whole herd, not just the mother, helps to take care of the new calf

African forest elephant

Scientists recently discovered that there are three species of elephants, not just two. (One in Asia, two in Africa.) African forest elephants are much smaller than their neighbors in the savannah, and the two African species are as different as tigers and lions.

elephant swimming

Elephants can swim! They use their trunks as snorkels if they need to breathe underwater. (photo by http://jonrawlinson.com)

African elephant herd

Elephant herds are made up of adult females and their calves. Usually the oldest female is the leader of the herd. Male elephants live with the herd for only a few years, then live mostly solitary lives from then on

African elephant calf and mother

Standing under Mom protects a baby elephant’s sensitive skin from the sun






























To learn more:

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (the elephant orphanage!)

Elephant Aid International

The San Diego Zoo Elephant Cam

The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee (includes curriculum guides)

Elephant Voices

A lecture about elephant communication by Dr. Katy Payne, who discovered elephants’ infrasonic communication


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