The cool thing about going on a safari in either East or Southern Africa is that your safari guides and trackers are educated on each and every animal. Let’s face it, not only are they formally trained but day in and day out they watch safari animals. They learn everything from their language to their personalities. I have witnessed this on several occasions, once on a safari tour in the greater Kruger National Park, there was a faint grunt in the background. The safari guide shut down our 4×4 vehicle, and we all listened. In the distance, a troop of baboons was seen high in the treetops and were grunting profusely. Our guide quickly headed in their direction and sure enough, there was a leopard strolling through just below the baboons.
So in yesterday’s Facebook Trivia Tuesday we asked a question about how you can tell if an elephant is left-handed or right-handed. This fact is something I initially learned while on a safari in Kenya’s Masai Mara and today I am going to share with you this and some other interesting Elephant Facts.
Fun Elephant Fact #1: How do you tell if an elephant is left or right-handed? Because elephants use their tusks for everything from foraging and digging to knocking over trees they wear down over time. When an elephant favors one side over the other, the tusk wears more on one side versus the other side. So in our picture, you can see this elephant is “right-handed” because the right tusk is shorter than the other.
Fun Elephant Fact #2: Elephants can eat up to 300 pounds of food per day, how do they get so much food? Elephants are quite resourceful and often use their size to either knock over trees or shake the seeds out of trees. Many times Elephants use their trunk to pull grass clumps right from the ground or use their tusks to dig for roots. In the bush, you can always tell if an elephant is around because you can hear them stripping the tree leaves and branches.
Fun Elephant Fact #3: African Elephants are the largest land mammals. They grow to more than 12 feet tall and weigh more than 5 tons. With their long legs, the can move up to 25 miles per hour. Their sheer size is very apparent on a Southern Africa where you are in an open-air vehicle. Check out our YouTube page for THIS cool video of a typical elephant on safari.
Fun Elephant Fact #4: I think we all know elephants drank by sucking up water with their trunks and skirting the water into their mouths but did you know elephants can swim? They use their trunks as a snorkel and can easily walk across or even swim bodies of water. Once on safari, I was enjoying the view of some elephants on the side of a marsh when to my surprise four elephants slowly surfaced. They had submerged themselves to stay cool.
Fun Elephant Fact #5: Chobe National Park located in Northern Botswana is home to more than 50,000 elephants which makes the largest concentration of elephants in all of Africa.