Botswana has a huge population of elephants, mostly due to regulations regarding protection of these gentle giants. During dry seasons many herds of elephants stay close to the watering holes, where they can get much needed water and possibly better food (they eat leaves, roots, fruits and grasses). Some interesting facts about elephants: - An elephant is the largest living land mammal in the world - Elephants are extremely intelligent creatures and have brains that can weigh as much as 4-6 kg. - Elephants are herbivores and only eat grasses, herbs, fruit, plants and trees. Their healthy, vegetarian diet is obviously good for them as the average elephant has a life span of around 70 odd years - Elephants have six sets of teeth that grow one set after another, throughout their lives. By the time they reach their 50's, most elephant have started to use their final set. - Elephants are social animals who tend to live in large groups. They are known for their ability to stay within “family” groups for the duration of their lives, and never stray far from their own mothers. It is definitely a case of “girl power” in the elephant world as the females and their young live in breeding herds, whilst the males are often cast aside. - Elephants are highly intelligent, social animals that use a variety of different means to communicate with each other. Like humans, they love to talk to each other by vocalizing a range of calls and sounds. - In the elephant world, females are generally ready to become a mum at around 15-16 years old and can give birth to as many as 12 calves throughout the course of their lives. The average gestation period for a female elephant is 22 months! - Elephants are known to be able to develop strong and intimate bonds between friends and family members. They can form lifelong friendships and will often only move in the same groups for their entire life. Elephants are gentle, intelligent creatures that must be protected to ensure that they remain part of our natural ecosystem for centuries to come.
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