An African bush elephant can live up to 70 years. It feasts on 135-200 kgs of food in just one day alone, leaves the dump from all that food to seed forests and puts on about 6,000 kgs of weight over its life. From morning until night, wild elephants eat, walk, poop, play and sleep, day after day until their last breath.
Let’s explore this intriguing animal that dominates the jungles of Africa and Asia and has found a place in human folklores, songs, and paper products to value-add to their lifestyle.
Aliya Dung tells you more. Here’s the story on a day in the life of an African elephant.
The daily life of an elephant is not much different from ours. What is different is the number of hours they keep themselves busy. Elephants have huge appetites, not surprisingly. They need as much as 200 kgs of food every single day for which they use up most part of the day looking for plants and gobbling them up. To digest all the meals they have throughout the day, they need a lot of water too, especially if they live in the dry areas of Botswana in Southern Africa. Every afternoon, they travel diligently for miles to drench their digestive tracts with enough water to munch all the fibre into pulp.
An adult elephant feasts on most parts of the plant from leaves and barks to roots and fruits. The wild forest grass makes a good snack for them too. Despite their weight, these beautiful creatures are vegetarian. The diet itself takes up about 4 to 6% of their body weight.
Surprisingly, despite all the weight they carry around, elephants are not lethargic. They need very little sleep, just about a few hours every day. Nap time is early in the morning before the sun rises and later at noon, the hottest time of the day when they cool off in the shade.
They tend to drift in and out of naps at night but when they snooze, it’s usually pretty peacefully, lying curled up on their side. The short naps are taken standing up, with their feet firmly planted on the ground and an “eye” on their babies and family close by.
To work up all that appetite, elephants need to play. When they are not preoccupied with food, it is common to see the young elephants play and communicate with each other through low rumbling sounds.
A baby elephant takes a pretty long time to be born. A calf is born after a gestation period of 22 months - the longest for any land animal on earth. They wean after six to 18 months of birth but may continue nursing for over six years.
While female elephants are more nurturing, male elephants are a lot more playful and social. They tend to leave their natal group at puberty and form fluid friendships with other males. Females reach their fertility period between 25 to 45 years of age but males need to reach 20 years of age to qualify to play the mating game.
Overall, elephants are pretty sociable, preferring to stick with their herd. They commute for miles, staying close to food sources and excreting poop along the way that is invaluable for the ecosystem.
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At Aliya Dung Paper, our goal is to provide a quality alternative to recycled paper while giving back. A portion of all sales is donated to our manufacturing unit MEF, so that they can continue to help the elephants. By supporting Aliya Dung Paper you can help the environment by using 100% recycled paper and paper products. Through this, you will also be helping elephants live a better life – support Eco Maximus – and help create and sustain jobs for the people who work there. Visit our website to support our products and help bring awareness to the struggles that many elephants face.