All About the African Forest Elephant

Is there anything more majestic than a family of African Forest Elephants? This amazing animal is found throughout central and southern Africa and is renowned for being the largest known mammal on land. Unfortunately, deforestation and poaching are putting these beautiful creatures at risk more and more with every passing year.

What You Should Know

This species of elephant is mostly found in central and southern Africa in forests, savannahs, and flood plains. You will immediately recognize them due to their gigantic size, leathery skin, and incredible pearly white tusks. African Forest Elephants are herbivores that love munching on plants and other vegetation found in its natural environment. They will normally go for leaves, fruits, herbs, and low-lying shrubs whenever they get hungry. They use their huge tusks to find roots in the ground and strip bark off of trees for some easily accessible snacks.

The male African Forest Elephant is a solitary creature, but females will form herds with their young families. This allows the mothers to protect their children from predators so that they can reach an age where they are able to hold their own. These elephants love wandering through forests and grasslands while they look for the food and watering holes they need to survive.

What Sound do they make?

Group Characteristics

These animals usually travel in nomadic groups while they seek out the necessary resources to survive. There is a 2 year gestation period for the female before she is ready to give birth to a single calf. The calf will join the herd and be nursed by its mother until its ready to take care of itself. This usually coincides with the time that the calf’s tusks start to show.

How Many Are There?

The estimated population size of the African Forest Elephant is right around 200,000, but the reality is that there might be far fewer elephants alive today than the estimate proclaims. These gentle giants are being threatened by the rapid deforestation of their territory as well as by poachers that are after their beautiful tusks. They are an animal that is listed on the endangered species list, which suggests they are at risk of becoming extinct in the future. They don’t have to worry about many natural predators due to their size, but hyenas and lions have been known to attack weak elephant calves when the opportunity presents itself.

Watch a Video

You can find some great videos of the African Forest Elephant by clicking on any of the following links:

Interesting Facts

As we mentioned earlier, the African Forest Elephant is known as the largest mammal on land. Their tusks actually grow out straighter than other elephant’s curved tusks, which allows them to make their way through the jungle with ease. They are able to communicate with each other through miles and miles of dense jungle, but humans aren’t able to hear the low pitched sound. The African Forest Elephant helps to spread different plant seeds all across the forests of Africa, which is yet another reason why we should focus on conservation efforts since they are such an important part of the ecosystem.

They also have a lifespan of 60-70 years, which is quite a long time to live in the animal kingdom. Perhaps the most interesting fact about these animals is related to their teeth, as they replace them 4 times during the lifespan. Unfortunately, when the African Forest Elements stops replacing its teeth, it will have trouble eating food and will most likely fall victim to starvation.