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African bush elephant

Species of mammal

The African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana), also known as the African savanna elephant, is one of two living African elephant species. It is the largest living terrestrial animal, with bulls reaching a shoulder height of up to 3.96 m (13.0 ft) and a body mass of up to 10.4 t (11.5 short tons).[3] It is distributed across 37 African countries and inhabits forests, grasslands and woodlands, wetlands and agricultural land. Since 2021, it has been listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. It is threatened foremost by habitat destruction, and in parts of its range also by poaching for meat and ivory.[2] It is a social mammal, travelling in herds composed of cows and their offspring. Adult bulls usually live alone or in small bachelor groups. It is a herbivore, feeding on grasses, creepers, herbs, leaves, and bark.

Taxonomy[edit]

Elephas africanus was the scientific name proposed by Johann Friedrich Blumenbach in 1797.[4]Loxodonte was proposed as generic name for African elephants by Frédéric Cuvier in 1825. This name refers to the lozenge-shaped enamel of the molar teeth, which differs significantly from the shape of the Asian elephant's molar enamel.[5]

In the 19th and 20th centuries, several zoological specimens were described by naturalists and curators of natural history museums from various parts of Africa, including:

  • Elephas (Loxodonta) oxyotis and Elephas (Loxodonta) knochenhaueri by Paul Matschie in 1900. The first was a specimen from the upper Atbara River in northern Ethiopia, and the second a specimen from the Kilwa area in Tanzania.[6]
  • Elephas africanus toxotis, selousi, peeli, cavendishi, orleansi and rothschildi by Richard Lydekker in 1907 who assumed that ear size is a distinguishing character for a race. These specimens were shot in South Africa, Mashonaland in Zimbabwe, Aberdare Mountains and Lake Turkana area in Kenya, in Somaliland and in western Sudan, respectively.[7]
  • North African elephant (L. a. pharaohensis) by Paulus Edward Pieris Deraniyagala in 1948 was a specimen from Fayum in Egypt.[8]

Today, these names are all considered synonyms.[1]

Phylogeny[edit]

A genetic study based on mitogenomic analysis revealed that the African and Asian elephantgenetically diverged about 7.6 million years ago.[9]Phylogenetic analysis of nuclear DNA of African bush and forest elephants, Asian elephant, woolly mammoth and American mastodon revealed that the African bush elephant and the African forest elephant form a sister group that genetically diverged at least 1.9 million years ago. They are therefore considered distinct species. Gene flow between the two species however, might have occurred after the split.[10]

  • Skulls of African bush elephant (left) and African forest elephant (right)

  • Skull of a male African bush elephant on display at the Museum of Osteology, Oklahoma City

Characteristics[edit]

Skin and ears[edit]

The African bush elephant has grey skin with scanty hairs. Its large ears cover the whole shoulder,[11] and can grow as large as 2 m × 1.5 m (6.6 ft × 4.9 ft).[12] Large ears help to reduce body heat; flapping them creates air currents and exposes large blood vessels on the inner sides to increase heat loss during hot weather.[13] The African bush elephant's ears are pointed and triangular shaped. Its occipital plane slopes forward. Its back is shaped markedly concave. Its sturdy tusks are curved out and point forward.[14]

Size[edit]

Average size of adults with the largest recorded individual included

The African bush elephant is the largest and heaviest land animal on Earth, with a maximum recorded shoulder height of an adult bull of 3.96 m (13.0 ft) and an estimated weight of up to 10.4 t (11.5 short tons). On average, males are about 3.20 m (10.5 ft) tall at the shoulder and weigh 6.0 t (6.6 short tons), while females are much smaller at about 2.60 m (8.53 ft) tall at the shoulder and 3.0 t (3.3 short tons) in weight.[3][15][16][17] Elephants attain their maximum stature when they complete the fusion of long-bone epiphyses, occurring in males around the age of 40 and females around the age of 25.[3]

Trunk[edit]

The trunk is a prehensile elongation of the upper lip and nose. Short tactile hair grows on the trunk, which has two finger-like processes on the tip.[18] This highly sensitive organ is innervated primarily by the trigeminal nerve, and thought to be manipulated by about 40,000–60,000 muscles. Because of this muscular structure, the trunk is so strong that elephants can use it for lifting about 3% of their own body weight. They use it for smelling, touching, feeding, drinking, dusting, sound production, loading, defending, and attacking.[13] Functional loss of the trunk due to floppy trunk syndrome sometimes forces elephants to carry their trunks over their tusks and walk into deep water in order to drink.[19] A 2021 study found that African elephants can also use their trunks to suction up food, capable of inhaling "at speeds exceeding 490 feet per second, or almost 30 times as fast as humans can sneeze."[20]

Tusks[edit]

Tusk of an African bush elephant

Both sexes have tusks, which erupt when they are 1–3 years old and grow throughout life.[21] Tusks grow from deciduous teeth known as tushes that develop in the upper jaw and consist of a crown, root and pulpal cavity, which are completely formed soon after birth. Tushes reach a length of 5 cm (2 in).[22] They are composed of dentin and coated with a thin layer of cementum. Their tips bear a conical layer of enamel that is usually worn off when the elephant is five years old.[23] Tusks of bulls grow faster than tusks of females. Mean weight of tusks at the age of 60 years is 109 kg (240 lb) in bulls, and 17.7 kg (39.0 lb) in cows.[21] The longest known tusk of an African bush elephant measured 3.51 m (11.5 ft) and weighed 117 kg (258 lb).[24]

Molars[edit]

Molar of an adult African bush elephant

The dental formula of the African bush elephant is 1.0.3.30.0.3.3 × 2 = 26. It develops six molars in each jaw quadrant that erupt at different ages and differ in size.[21] The first molars grow to a size of 2 cm (0.79 in) wide by 4 cm (1.6 in) long, are worn by the age of one year and lost by the age of about 2.5 years. The second molars start protruding at the age of about six months, grow to a size of 4 cm (1.6 in) wide by 7 cm (2.8 in) long and are lost by the age of 6–7 years. The third molars protrude at the age of about one year, grow to a size of 5.2 cm (2.0 in) wide by 14 cm (5.5 in) long and are lost by the age of 8–10 years. The fourth molars show by the age of 6–7 years, grow to a size of 6.8 cm (2.7 in) wide by 17.5 cm (6.9 in) long and are lost by the age of 22–23 years. The dental alveoli of the fifth molars are visible by the age of 10–11 years. They grow to a size of 8.5 cm (3.3 in) wide by 22 cm (8.7 in) long and are worn by the age of 45–48 years. The dental alveoli of the last molars are visible by the age of 26–28 years. They grow to a size of 9.4 cm (3.7 in) wide by 31 cm (1.0 ft) long and are well worn by the age of 65 years.[25]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The African bush elephant occurs in Sub-Saharan Africa including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia, and Angola. It moves between a variety of habitats, including subtropical and temperate forests, dry and seasonally flooded grasslands, and woodlands, wetlands and agricultural land from sea level to mountain slopes. In Mali and Namibia, it also inhabits desert and semi-desert areas.[2]

In Ethiopia, the African bush elephant has historically been recorded up to an altitude of 2,500 m (8,200 ft). By the late 1970s, the population had declined to a herd in the Dawa River valley and one close to the Kenyan border.[26]

Behavior and ecology[edit]

Social behavior[edit]

The core of elephant society is the family unit, which comprises several adult cows, their daughters, and their prepubertal sons. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, who observed African bush elephants for 4.5 years in Lake Manyara National Park, coined the term 'kinship group' for two or more family units that have close ties. The family unit is led by a matriarch who at times also leads the kinship group.[27][28] Groups cooperate in locating food and water, in self-defense, and in caring for offspring (termed allomothering).[27]Group size varies seasonally and between locations. In Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks, groups are bigger in the rainy season and in areas with open vegetation.[29] Aerial surveys in the late 1960s to early 1970s revealed an average group size of 6.3 individuals in Uganda's Rwenzori National Park and 28.8 individuals in Chambura Game Reserve. In both sites, elephants aggregated during the wet season, whereas groups were smaller in the dry season.[30]

A bull elephant stretching up to break off a branch in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

Young bulls gradually separate from the family unit when they are between 10 and 19 years old. They range alone for some time or form all-male groups.[31] A 2020 study highlighted the importance of old bulls for the navigation and survival of herds and raised concerns over the removal of old bulls as "currently occur[ring] in both legal trophy hunting and illegal poaching".[32]

Diet[edit]

The African bush elephant is herbivorous. Its diet consists mainly of grasses, creepers and herbs. Adults can consume up to 150 kg (330 lb) per day.[12] During the dry season, the diet also includes leaves and bark. Tree bark in particular contains a high level of calcium.[33] Elephants in Babille Elephant Sanctuary consume leaves and fruit of cherimoya, papaya, banana, guava and leaves, stems and seeds of maize, sorghum and sugarcane.[34] To supplement their diet with minerals, they congregate at mineral-rich water-holes, termite mounds and mineral licks.[35] Salt licks visited by elephants in the Kalahari contain high concentrations of water-soluble sodium.[36] Elephants drink 180–230 l (40–50 imp gal; 50–60 U.S. gal) of water daily, and seem to prefer sites where water and soil contains sodium. In Kruger National Park and on the shore of Lake Kariba, elephants were observed to ingest wood ash, which also contains sodium.[37]

Musth[edit]

Observations of adult African bush elephant bulls in Amboseli National Park revealed that they experience swelling of the temporal glands and secretion of fluid, the musth fluid, which flows down their cheeks. They begin to dribble urine, initially as discrete drops and later in a regular stream. These manifestations of musth last from a few days to months, depending on the age and condition of the bull. When a bull has been urinating for a long time, the proximal part of the penis and the distal end of the sheath show a greenish coloration, termed the 'green penis syndrome' by Joyce Poole and Cynthia Moss.[38] Males in musth become more aggressive. They guard and mate with females in estrus who stay closer to bulls in musth than to non-musth bulls.[39] Urinary testosterone increases during musth.[40] Bulls begin to experience musth by the age of 24 years. Periods of musth are short and sporadic in young bulls up to 35 years old, lasting a few days to weeks. Older bulls are in musth for 2–5 months every year. Musth occurs mainly during and following the rainy season, and when females are in estrus.[41] Bulls in musth often chase each other and are aggressive towards other bulls in musth. When old and high-ranking bulls in musth threaten and chase young musth bulls, the latter either leave the group or their musth ceases.[42]

Elephants and white rhinos meet in Pilanesberg National Park

Young bulls in musth killed about 50 white rhinoceros in Pilanesberg National Park between 1992 and 1997. This unusual behavior was attributed to their young age and inadequate socialisation; they were 17–25-year-old orphans from culled families that grew up without the guidance of dominant bulls. When six adult bulls were introduced into the park, the young bulls did not attack rhinos any more, indicating older bulls suppress musth and aggressiveness of younger bulls.[43][44] Similar incidents were recorded in Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park, where young bulls killed five black and 58 white rhinoceros between 1991 and 2001. After the introduction of ten bulls, each up to 45 years old, the number of rhinos killed by elephants decreased considerably.[45]

Reproduction[edit]

Spermatogenesis starts when bulls are about 15 years old.[46] Females ovulate for the first time at the age of 11 years.[47] They are in estrus for 2–6 days.[48] In captivity, cows have an oestrous cycle lasting 14–15 weeks. Foetalgonads enlarge during the second half of pregnancy.[49]

African bush elephants mate during the rainy season.[47] Bulls in musth cover long distances in search for females and associate with large family units. They listen for the females' loud, very low frequency calls and attract females by calling and by leaving trails of strong-smelling urine. Females search for bulls in musth, listen for their calls and follow their urine trails.[50] Bulls in musth are more successful at obtaining mating opportunities than non-musth bulls. Females move away from bulls that attempt to test her estrous condition. If pursued by several bulls, they run away. Once they choose their mating partners, they stay away from other bulls that are threatened and chased away by the favoured bull. Competition between bulls overrides their choice sometimes.[48]

Gestation lasts 22 months. Interval between births was estimated at 3.9 to 4.7 years in Hwange National Park.[47] Where hunting pressure on adult elephants was high in the 1970s, cows gave birth once in 2.9 to 3.8 years.[51] Cows in Amboseli National Park gave birth once in five years on average.[48]

The birth of a calf was observed in Tsavo East National Park in October 1990. A group of 80 elephants including eight bulls had gathered in the morning in a 150 m (490 ft) radius around the birth site. A small group of calves and females stood near the pregnant female, rumbling and flapping their ears. One cow seemed to assist her. While in labour, fluid streamed from her temporal and ear canals. She kept standing while giving birth. The newborn calf struggled to its feet within 30 minutes and walked 20 minutes later. The mother expelled the placenta about 100 minutes after birth and covered it with soil immediately.[52] Captive-born calves weigh between 100 and 120 kg (220 and 260 lb) at birth and gain about 0.5 kg (1.1 lb) weight per day.[53] Cows lactate for about 4.8 years.[54] Calves exclusively suckle their mother's milk during the first three months. Thereafter, they start feeding independently and slowly increase the time spent feeding until they are two years old. During the first three years, male calves spend more time suckling and grow faster than female calves. After this period, cows reject male calves more frequently from their nipples than female calves.[55]

The maximum lifespan of the African bush elephant is between 70 and 75 years.[56] Its generation length is 25 years.[57]

Predators[edit]

In Botswana's Chobe National Park, subadult elephants are preyed upon by lions. They attacked and fed on elephants when smaller prey species were scarce. Between 1993 and 1996, lions successfully attacked 74 elephants; 26 were older than nine, and one was a bull of over 15 years. Most were killed at night, and hunts occurred more often during waning moon nights than during bright moon nights.[58] In the same park, lions killed eight elephants in October 2005 that were aged between one and 11 years, two of them older than eight years. Successful hunts took place after dark when prides exceeded 27 lions and herds were smaller than five elephants.[59]

Threats[edit]

The African bush elephant is threatened primarily by habitat loss and fragmentation following conversion of natural habitat for livestock farming, plantations of non-timber crops and building of urban and industrial areas. As a result, human-elephant conflict has increased.[2]

Poaching[edit]

Poachers target foremost elephant bulls for their tusks, which leads to a skewed sex ratio and affects the survival chances of a population. Access of poachers to unregulated black markets is facilitated by corruption and in periods of civil war in some elephant range countries.[60]

In June 2002, a container packed with more than 6.5 t (6.4 long tons; 7.2 short tons) ivory was confiscated in Singapore. It contained 42,120 hanko stamps and 532 tusks of African bush elephants that originated in Southern Africa, centered in Zambia and neighboring countries. Between 2005 and 2006, a total of 23.461 t (23.090 long tons; 25.861 short tons) ivory plus 91 unweighed tusks of African bush elephants were confiscated in 12 major consignments being shipped to Asia.[61]

When the international ivory trade reopened in 2006, the demand and price for ivory increased in Asia. The African bush elephant population in Chad's Zakouma National Park numbered 3,900 individuals in 2005. Within five years, more than 3,200 elephants were killed. The park did not have sufficient guards to combat poaching, and their weapons were outdated. Well-organized networks facilitated smuggling the ivory through Sudan.[62] Poaching also increased in Kenya in those years.[63] In Samburu National Reserve, 41 bulls were illegally killed between 2008 and 2012, equivalent to 31% of the reserve's elephant population.[64]

These killings were linked to confiscations of ivory and increased prices for ivory on the local black market.[65] About 10,370 tusks were confiscated in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Kenya and Uganda between 2007 and 2013. Genetic analysis of tusk samples showed that they originated from African bush elephants killed in Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Kenya and Uganda. Most of the ivory was smuggled through East African countries.[66]

Between 2003 and 2015, illegal killing of 14,606 African bush elephants was reported by rangers across 29 range countries. Chad is a major transit country for smuggling of ivory in West Africa. This trend was curtailed by raising penalties for poaching and improving law enforcement.[67]

During the 20th century, the African bush elephant population was severely decimated.[68] Poaching of the elephant has dated back all the way to the years of 1970 and 1980, which was considered the largest killings in history. Unfortunately, the species is placed in harm's way due to the limited conservation areas provided in Africa. In most cases, the killings of the African bush elephant have occurred near the outskirts of the protected areas.[2]

In addition to being poached, the carcasses of elephants may get poisoned by the poachers, to avoid detection by vultures which help rangers track poaching activity by circling around dead animals, and pose a threat to those vultures or birds that scavenge on them. On 20 June 2019, the carcasses of 468 white-backed vultures, 17 white-headed vultures, 28 hooded vultures, 14 lappet-faced vultures and 10 cape vultures, altogether 537 endangered vultures, besides 2 tawny eagles, were found in northern Botswana. It is suspected that they died after eating the poisoned carcasses of 3 elephants.[69][70][71][72]

Habitat changes[edit]

Vast areas in Sub-Saharan Africa were transformed for agricultural use and building of infrastructure. This disturbance leaves the elephants without a stable habitat and limits their ability to roam freely. Large corporations associated with commercial logging and mining have stripped apart the land, giving poachers easy access to the African bush elephant.[73] As human development grows, the human population faces the trouble of contact with the elephants more frequently, due to the species need for food and water. Farmers residing in nearby areas get into conflict with the African bush elephants rummaging through their crops. In many cases, they kill the elephants instantly as they disturb a village or forage upon their crops.[68] Deaths caused by browsing on rubber vine, an invasive alien plant, have been reported.[74]

Pathogens[edit]

Observations at Etosha National Park indicate that African bush elephant die due to anthrax foremost in November at the end of the dry season.[75] Anthrax spores spread through the intestinal tracts of vultures, jackals and hyaenas that feed on the carcasses. Anthrax killed over 100 elephants in Botswana in 2019.[76] It is thought that wild bush elephants can contract fatal tuberculosis from humans.[77] Infection of the vital organs by Citrobacter freundii bacteria has caused the death of an otherwise healthy bush elephant after capture and translocation.[74]

From April to June 2020, over 400 bush elephants died in Botswana's Okavango Delta region after drinking from desiccating waterholes that were infected with cyanobacteria.[78]Neurotoxins produced by the cyanobacteria caused calves and adult elephants to wander around confused, emaciated and in distress. The elephants collapsed when the toxin impaired their motor functions and their legs became paralysed. Poaching, intentional poisoning, and anthrax were excluded as potential causes.[79]

Conservation[edit]

African elephant used for show in Parc archéologique Asnapio, France

The African bush elephants have been listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora since 1989. In 1997, Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe placed it on Appendix II. So did South Africa in 2000. Community-based conservation programmes have been initiated in several range countries, which contributed to reduce human-elephant conflict and to increase local people's tolerance towards elephants.[2]

In 1986, the African Elephant Database was initiated with the aim to collate and update information on the distribution and status of elephant populations in Africa. The database includes results from aerial surveys, dung counts, interviews with local people, and data on poaching.[67]

Researchers discovered that playing back the recorded sounds of African bees is an effective method to drive elephants away from settlements.[80]

Status[edit]

In 1996, IUCN Red List assessors for the African bush elephant considered the species Endangered. Since 2021, it has been assessed Endangered, after the global population was found to have decreased by more than 50 percent over 3 generations.[81] About 70% of its range is located outside protected areas.[2]

In 2016, the global population was estimated at 415,428 ± 20,111 individuals distributed in a total area of 20,731,202 km2 (8,004,362 sq mi), of which 30% is protected. 42% of the total population lives in nine Southern African countries comprising 293,447 ± 16,682 individuals; Africa's largest population lives in Botswana with 131,626 ± 12,508 individuals.[67]

In captivity[edit]

The social behavior of elephants in captivity mimics that of those in the wild. Females are kept with other females, in groups, while males tend to be separated from their mothers at a young age, and are kept apart. According to Schulte, in the 1990s, in North America, a few facilities allowed male interaction. Elsewhere, males were only allowed to smell each other. Males and females were allowed to interact for specific purposes such as breeding. In that event, females were more often moved to the male than the male to the female. Females are more often kept in captivity because they are easier and less expensive to house.[82]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  32. ^Allen, C. R. B.; Brent, L. J. N.; Motsentwa, T.; Weiss, M. N.; Croft, D. P. (2020). "Importance of old bulls: leaders and followers in collective movements of all-male groups in African savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana)". Scientific Reports. 10 (1): 13996. Bibcode:2020NatSR..1013996A. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-70682-y. PMC 7471917. PMID 32883968.
  33. ^Bax, P. N.; Sheldrick, D. L. W. (1963). "Some preliminary observations on the food of elephant in the Tsavo Royal National Park (East) of Kenya". African Journal of Ecology. 1 (1): 40–51. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2028.1963.tb00177.x.
  34. ^Biru, Y.; Bekele, A. (2012). "Food habits of African elephant (Loxodonta africana) in Babile Elephant Sanctuary, Ethiopia". Tropical Ecology. 53 (1): 43–52.
  35. ^Ruggiero, R. G. & Fay, J. M. (1994). "Utilization of termitarium soils by elephants and its ecological implications". African Journal of Ecology. 32 (3): 222–232. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2028.1994.tb00573.x.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  36. ^Weir, J. S. (1969). "Chemical properties and occurrence on Kalahari sand of salt licks created by elephants". Journal of Zoology. 158 (3): 293–310. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.1969.tb02148.x.
  37. ^Weir, J. S. (1972). "Spatial distribution of Elephants in an African National Park in relation to environmental sodium". Oikos. 23 (1): 1–13. doi:10.2307/3543921. JSTOR 3543921.
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  39. ^Poole, J. H. (1982). Musth and male-male competition in the African elephant (PhD thesis). Cambridge: University of Cambridge.
  40. ^Poole, J. H.; Kasman, L. H.; Ramsay, E. C.; Lasley, B. L. (1984). "Musth and urinary testosterone concentrations in the African elephant (Loxodonta africana)". Reproduction. 70 (1): 255–260. doi:10.1530/jrf.0.0700255. PMID 6694143.
  41. ^Poole, J. H. (1987). "Rutting behavior in African elephants: the phenomenon of musth". Behaviour. 102 (3–4): 283–316. doi:10.1163/156853986X00171.
  42. ^Poole, J. H. (1989). "Announcing intent: the aggressive state of musth in African elephants"(PDF). Animal Behaviour. 37 (37): 140–152. doi:10.1016/0003-3472(89)90014-6. S2CID 53190740.
  43. ^Slotow, R.; van Dyk, G.; Poole, J.; Page, B.; Klocke, A. (2000). "Older bull elephants control young males". Nature. 408 (6811): 425–426. Bibcode:2000Natur.408..425S. doi:10.1038/35044191. PMID 11100713. S2CID 136330.
  44. ^Slotow, R.; van Dyk, G. (2001). "Role of delinquent young 'orphan' male elephants in high mortality of white rhinoceros in Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa". Koedoe (44): 85–94.
  45. ^Slotow, R.; Balfour, D.; Howison, O. (2001). "Killing of black and white rhinoceroses by African elephants in Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park, South Africa"(PDF). Pachyderm (31): 14–20. Archived from the original(PDF) on 25 October 2007.
  46. ^Hanks, J. (1973). "Reproduction in the male African elephant in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia". South African Journal of Wildlife Research. 3 (2): 31–39.
  47. ^ abcWilliamson, B. R. (1976). "Reproduction in female African elephant in the Wankie National Park, Rhodesia". South African Journal of Wildlife Research. 6 (2): 89–93.
  48. ^ abcMoss, C. J. (1983). "Oestrous behaviour and female choice in the African elephant". Behaviour. 86 (3/4): 167–196. doi:10.1163/156853983X00354. JSTOR 4534283.
  49. ^Allen, W. (2006). "Ovulation, Pregnancy, Placentation and Husbandry in the African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)". Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences. 361 (1469): 821–834. doi:10.1098/rstb.2006.1831. PMC 1609400. PMID 16627297.
  50. ^Poole, J. H.; Moss, C. J. (1989). "Elephant mate searching: group dynamics and vocal and olfactory communication". In Jewell, P. A.; Maloiy, G. M. O. (eds.). The Biology of Large African Mammals in Their Environment. Symposia of the Zoological Society of London. 61. London: Clarendon Press. pp. 111–125.
  51. ^Kerr, M. A. (1978). "Reproduction of elephant in the Mana Pools National Park, Rhodesia". Arnoldia (Rhodesia). 8 (29): 1–11.
  52. ^McKnight, B. L. (1992). "Birth of an African elephant in Tsavo East National Park, Kenya". African Journal of Ecology. 30 (1): 87–89. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2028.1992.tb00481.x.
  53. ^Lang, E. M. (1967). "The birth of an African elephant Loxodonta africana at Basle Zoo". International Zoo Yearbook. 7 (1): 154–157. doi:10.1111/j.1748-1090.1967.tb00359.x.
  54. ^Smith, N. S.; Buss, I. O. (1973). "Reproductive ecology of the female African elephant". The Journal of Wildlife Management. 37 (4): 524–534. doi:10.2307/3800318. JSTOR 3800318.
  55. ^Lee, P. C.; Moss, C. J. (1986). "Early maternal investment in male and female African elephant calves". Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 18 (5): 353–361. doi:10.1007/BF00299666. S2CID 10901693.
  56. ^Lee, P. C.; Sayialel, S.; Lindsay, W. K.; Moss, C. J. (2012). "African elephant age determination from teeth: validation from known individuals". African Journal of Ecology. 50 (1): 9–20. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2028.2011.01286.x.
  57. ^Pacifici, M.; Santini, L.; Di Marco, M.; Baisero, D.; Francucci, L.; Grottolo Marasini, G.; Visconti, P.; Rondinini, C. (2013). "Generation length for mammals". Nature Conservation. 5 (5): 87–94. doi:10.3897/natureconservation.5.5734.
  58. ^Joubert, D. (2006). "Hunting behaviour of lions (Panthera leo) on elephants (Loxodonta africana) in the Chobe National Park, Botswana". African Journal of Ecology. 44 (2): 279–281. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2028.2006.00626.x.
  59. ^Power, R. J.; Compion, R. X. S. (2009). "Lion predation on elephants in the Savuti, Chobe National Park, Botswana". African Zoology. 44 (1): 36–44. doi:10.3377/004.044.0104. S2CID 86371484.
  60. ^Lemieux, A. M.; Clarke, R. V. (2009). "The international ban on ivory sales and its effects on elephant poaching in Africa". The British Journal of Criminology. 49 (4): 451–471. doi:10.1093/bjc/azp030.
  61. ^Wasser, S. K.; Mailand, C.; Booth, R.; Mutayoba, B.; Kisamo, E.; Clark, B.; Stephens, M. (2007). "Using DNA to track the origin of the largest ivory seizure since the 1989 trade ban". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 104 (10): 4228–4233. Bibcode:2007PNAS..104.4228W. doi:10.1073/pnas.0609714104. PMC 1805457. PMID 17360505.
  62. ^Poilecot, P. (2010). "Le braconnage et la population d'éléphants au Parc National de Zakouma (Tchad)". Bois et Forêts des Tropiques. 303 (303): 93–102. doi:10.19182/bft2010.303.a20454.
  63. ^Douglas-Hamilton, I. (2009). "The current elephant poaching trend"(PDF). Pachyderm (45): 154–157.
  64. ^Wittemyer, G.; Daballen, D.; Douglas-Hamilton, I. (2013). "Comparative Demography of an At-Risk African Elephant Population". PLOS ONE. 8 (1): e53726. Bibcode:2013PLoSO...853726W. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053726. PMC 3547063. PMID 23341984.
  65. ^Wittemyer, G.; Northrup, J. M.; Blanc, J.; Douglas-Hamilton, I.; Omondi, P.; Burnham, K. P. (2014). "Illegal killing for ivory drives global decline in African elephants". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 111 (36): 13117–13121. Bibcode:2014PNAS..11113117W. doi:10.1073/pnas.1403984111. PMC 4246956. PMID 25136107.
  66. ^Wasser, S. K.; Brown, L.; Mailand, C.; Mondol, S.; Clark, W.; Laurie, C.; Weir, B. S. (2015). "Genetic assignment of large seizures of elephant ivory reveals Africa's major poaching hotspots". Science. 349 (6243): 84–87. Bibcode:2015Sci...349...84W. doi:10.1126/science.aaa2457. PMC 5535781. PMID 26089357.
  67. ^ abcThouless, C. R.; Dublin, H. T.; Blanc, J. J.; Skinner, D. P.; Daniel, T. E.; Taylor, R. D.; Maisels, F.; Frederick, H. L.; Bouché, P. (2016). African Elephant Status Report 2016 : an update from the African Elephant Database(PDF). Occasional Paper of the IUCN Species Survival Commission No. 60. Gland: IUCN SSC African Elephant Specialist Group. ISBN .
  68. ^ abCeballos, G.; Ehrlich, A. H.; Ehrlich, P. R. (2015). The Annihilation of Nature: Human Extinction of Birds and Mammals. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 102. ISBN 1421417189.
  69. ^"Over 500 Rare Vultures Die After Eating Poisoned Elephants in Botswana". Agence France-Press. NDTV. 21 June 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  70. ^Hurworth, Ella (24 June 2019). "More than 500 endangered vultures die after eating poisoned elephant carcasses". CNN. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  71. ^Solly, Meilan (24 June 2019). "Poachers' Poison Kills 530 Endangered Vultures in Botswana". Smithsonian. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  72. ^Ngounou, Boris (27 June 2019). "BOTSWANA: Over 500 vultures found dead after massive poisoning". Afrik21. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  73. ^"Facts About African Elephants - The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore". The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  74. ^ abOrtega, Joaquín; Corpa, Juan M.; Orden, José A.; Blanco, Jorge; Carbonell, María D.; Gerique, Amalia C.; Latimer, Erin; Hayward, Gary S.; Roemmelt, Andreas; Kraemer, Thomas; Romey, Aurore; Kassimi, Labib B.; Casares, Miguel (15 July 2015). "Acute death associated with Citrobacter freundii infection in an African elephant (Loxodonta africana)". Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. 27 (5): 632–636. doi:10.1177/1040638715596034. PMID 26179092.
  75. ^Lindeque, P. M. & Turnbull, P. C. (1994). "Ecology and epidemiology of anthrax in the Etosha National Park, Namibia". The Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research. 61 (1): 71–83. PMID 7898901.
  76. ^"Botswana: Lab tests to solve mystery of hundreds of dead elephants". BBC. 2020. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  77. ^Miller, M.A.; Buss, P.; Roos, E.O.; Hausler, G.; Dippenaar, A.; Mitchell, E.; van Schalkwyk, L.; Robbe-Austerman, S.; Waters, W.R.; Sikar-Gang, A.; Lyashchenko, K.P.; Parsons, S.D.C.; Warren, R. & van Helden, P. (2019). "Fatal Tuberculosis in a Free-Ranging African Elephant and One Health Implications of Human Pathogens in Wildlife". Frontiers in Veterinary Science. 6: 18. doi:10.3389/fvets.2019.00018. PMC 6373532. PMID 30788347.
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  82. ^Schulte, B. A. (2000). "Social structure and helping behavior in captive elephants". Zoo Biology. 19 (5): 447–459. doi:10.1002/1098-2361(2000)19:5<447::aid-zoo12>3.0.co;2-#.
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_bush_elephant

Incredible moment elephant throws 500kg buffalo into the air like a rag doll

A bullying buffalo was gored and then tossed several feet into the air after it picked a fight with a massive mother elephant.

The unfortunate animal - which can weigh more than 500kg - died after the battle shown in these astounding pictures, snapped by an amateur photographer while on holiday in Kenya.

The series of images from the Maasai Mara game reserve shows the elephant charging the buffalo, as three young elephants huddle behind her.

The buffalo had been dozing under a tree when the elephant innocently walked past - but, inexplicably, the smaller of the two beasts decided to charge and headbutt her.

Reacting quickly the much bigger elephant drove her tusk into the buffalo, hoisting it several feet in the air and inflicting fatal injuries.

Read more:

Flying Buffalo
Flying Buffalo
Flying Buffalo
Flying Buffalo

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Stunned photographer Kimberly Maurer, 56, said: "This photograph was, no doubt, a once-in-a-lifetime capture for me.

"As you would imagine, his carcass was a meal for another animal or two.

"I started looking through the images on the back of my camera immediately after the attack and became very excited to discover that I had actually captured the event in detail."

Rangers at the reserve believe the buffalo must have been unwell to have reacted so strangely to the elephant's presence.

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But earlier this month another buffalo managed to strike back during a fight for its life against five lions.

Photos captured in South Africa's Mara Mara reserve showed a buffalo jamming one of its massive horns into the shoulder of an attacking big cat.

The young male was pinned to the spot for some 20 minutes.

Ranger Roan Ravenhill, 28, said: "There was a fight going on between the cape buffalo bull and a pride of lions and we could see them leaping upon it.

lion impaled by buffalo

"Suddenly we could see that a young male had managed to get hooked by the buffalo's horn underneath his left front leg."

He added: "After that time, he managed to get unhooked, but was limping for days afterwards, we noticed.

"By a long way, it was the longest battle we have ever seen between lions and a buffalo – it was hard to watch, but that is the reality of nature."

Read more:

Sours: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/incredible-moment-elephant-throws-500kg-7280878
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When it comes to animals, people tend to believe that all male animals are the leaders of their herds. However, not all leaders of herds are males. 

In elephant herds, the leader is the matriarch elephant. This elephant is typically the oldest and largest female elephant. Elephant herds are made up of female elephants (cows) and their baby elephants (calves.)

When a young male reaches its teen years, it parts ways from its mother’s herd. Although they do not live in herds, they play a crucial role in the elephant population. Here is some knowledge about the role of an African bull elephant. 

What is a male elephant called?

When a male elephant is born it is called a calf. However, when it reaches adulthood, it is called a bull or bull elephant.  

What is the appearance of a male elephant?

An elephant bull has a distinct appearance from an elephant cow (female elephant.) Male elephants can grow larger than female elephants. 

The African bull elephant can get as tall as 12 to 14 feet and weigh 12,000 to 14,000 pounds. In addition, this elephant has longer and heavier tusks compared to the female African elephant.

Another distinct feature is that the elephant bull’s head is broader between the eyes and forehead. It is important to note that this is not noticeable until they reach adulthood. 

A bull elephant’s early life 

Just like any baby elephant, a male elephant spends its early life with its mother. For the first couple of months, these little ones stick by their mother's side. They rely heavily on their mother for milk in their early months. 

At four months, calves will start to eat plants, but still drink their mother's milk. The male calves will continue to live by their mothers until they reach a certain age. When the young male elephant reaches 12 to 15 years old, they will leave their mother's herd. 

A bull elephant’s teen years 

In the adolescent years, male elephants will start to discover who they are and what role they play within the elephant herds. They will learn the rules about adulthood, social interactions with other bulls and mating etiquette.

Once the young male elephant leaves the herd, they join a small band of other bulls. These bachelors will stay together and look for food, water and potential mates. 

Unlike a female elephant (cow), a bull elephant does not form tight-knit relationships with other elephants. They can build friendships, and relationships remain fluid. 

A bull elephant’s adult years 

The male elephant is always traveling in search of its next mate. He will jump from one herd of female elephants to another until he finds a female willing to mate. After a bull elephant has mated with a female, he will stay with the female and guard her from other males. 

Even though the African bull elephant does not play much of a fatherly role, he is still essential. With bull elephants always traveling from one herd to another, they are helping keep the gene pool varied. In addition, the female elephants choose who they are willing to mate with and help reduce interbreeding. 

How you can help elephants

Bull elephants play a crucial role in helping keep elephant populations healthy. Currently, poachers are killing both male and female elephants for ivory. Without either, elephant populations will decrease. 

That is why we need wild conservation strategies to save elephants. You can help create wildlife conservation by donating to our research that helps find the best conservation strategies for both elephants in the wild and zoos. Make a donation or purchase our apparel to support our research.  

Sours: https://www.4elephants.org/blog/article/the-role-of-bull-elephant
Zombie Mammoth vs Giant Bull Fight Baby Monkey Saved By Mammoth Elephant Giant Animal Fights Videos

Musth

An Asian elephant bull chained during musth, with discharge from the temporal glands.

Musth or must (; Urdu: مست‎, from Persian, lit. 'intoxicated')[1] is a periodic condition in bull (male) elephants characterized by highly aggressive behavior and accompanied by a large rise in reproductive hormones.

Testosterone levels in an elephant in musth can be on average 60 times greater than in the same elephant at other times (in specific individuals these testosterone levels can even reach as much as 140 times the normal).[2] However, whether this hormonal surge is the sole cause of musth, or merely a contributing factor, is unknown.

Scientific investigation of musth is problematic because even the most placid elephants become highly violent toward humans and other elephants during musth.[citation needed]

Cause[edit]

An African elephant chases a giraffe during musth.

Although it has often been speculated by zoo visitors[3] that musth is linked to rut, it is unlikely there is a biological connection because the female elephant's estrus cycle is not seasonally-linked, whereas musth most often takes place in winter. Furthermore, bulls in musth have often been known to attack female elephants, regardless of whether or not the females are in heat.

Effects[edit]

Secretions[edit]

Elephants in musth often discharge a thick tar-like secretion called temporin from the temporal ducts on the sides of the head. Temporin contains proteins, lipids (notably cholesterol), phenol and 4-methyl phenol,[4][5]cresols and sesquiterpenes (notably farnesol and its derivatives).[6] Secretions and urine collected from zoo elephants have been shown to contain elevated levels of various highly odorous ketones and aldehydes.

The elephant's aggression may be partially caused by a reaction to the temporin, which naturally trickles down into the elephant's mouth, and (at least to a human) tastes unbelievably foul. Another contributing factor may be the accompanying swelling of the temporal glands, which presses on the elephant's eyes and causes acute pain comparable to severe root abscesstoothache. Elephants sometimes try to counteract this pain by digging their tusks into the ground.

Behavior[edit]

Musth is linked to sexual arousal or establishing dominance, but this relationship is far from clear. Wild bulls in musth often produce a characteristic low, pulsating rumbling noise (known as "musth rumble") which can be heard by other elephants for considerable distances. The rumble has been shown to prompt not only attraction in the form of reply vocalizations from cows in heat, but also silent avoidance behavior from other bulls (particularly juveniles) and non-receptive females, suggesting an evolutionary benefit to advertising the musth state.[7][8]

Cases of rogue elephants randomly attacking native villages or goring and killing rhinoceroses without provocation in national parks in Africa have been documented and attributed to musth in young male elephants, especially those growing in the absence of older males. Studies show that reintroducing older males into the elephant population of the area seems to prevent younger males from entering musth, and therefore, stop this aggressive behavior.[9][8][10]

In domesticated elephants[edit]

An elephant in musth trying to break his chain

A musth elephant, wild or domesticated, is extremely dangerous to both humans and other elephants. In zoos, bull elephants in musth have killed numerous keepers when normally friendly animals have become uncontrollably enraged. In contrast to normal dominance behavior, bulls in musth will even attack and kill members of their own family, including their own calves. Zoos keeping adult male elephants need extremely strong, purpose-built enclosures to isolate males during their musth, which greatly complicates the expense of attempting to breed elephants in zoos; most zoos that keep a single elephant or a small herd typically have only females for this reason.

In Sri Lanka and India, domesticated elephants in musth are traditionally tied to a strong tree and denied food and water, or put on a starvation diet, for several days, after which the musth passes. Mahouts are often able to greatly shorten the duration of their elephants' musth, typically to five to eight days; sedatives, like xylazine, are also used.[11][12]

The approved method in developed countries is to strictly isolate the elephant in a highly fortified secure pen for a period ranging from 1 to 2 months until the elephant emerges from musth on its own. Medication for swelling and pain, as well as tranquilizers, are often mixed into the elephant's food. During this one- to two-month period the elephant cannot be trained, allowed outside or permitted to see other elephants, and it must be fed, watered and cleaned by remote methods; it will attack any approaching keeper. Some Indian mahouts decry this method as crueler than simply starving and dehydrating the animal for a week, after which it recovers and can be safely reunited with the herd.

References in popular culture[edit]

References to elephants in musth (whose temporin secretion is often referred to as "ichor") are frequent in classical Indian poetry and prose; for example, in the Raghuvaṃśa, Kalidasa says that the king's elephants drip ichor in seven streams to match the scent put forth by the seven-leaved 'sapta-cchada' (= "seven-leaf")[13] tree (perhaps Alstonia scholaris). Some poets turn it around to compare the elephant's ichor to the "saptacchada". The phenomenon has been described in poetry much before the time of Kalidasa, in Sanskrit, Tamil and Pali literature.

Valmiki, in Sundara Kanda of the Ramayana makes reference to the Mahendra mountain shedding water like an Elephant's rut juice upon being pressed by Hanuman.[14]

Shooting an Elephant is an autobiographical account by George Orwell in which he describes how an elephant in Burma had an attack of musth and killed an Indian, which in turn, caused the death of the elephant.

Sangam poetry describes musth. Kummatoor Kannanaar in Pathitrupatthu 12 describes it as follows:

It was sweet to hear of your victories and fame
and I came here desiring to see you.
I came with my big family, passing few mountains
where noble, young male elephants with coarse hair
and swaying walks have musth flowing from their
cheek glands and elephant mothers with calves
wave wild jasmine twigs,
chasing striped bees that swarm on the sweet musth.[15]

The Tamil movie Kumki, which revolves around a mahout and his trained elephant, shows his elephant in musth period towards the climax. Captive elephants are either trained for duties in temples (and in cultural festivals), or trained as a Kumki elephant which confronts wild elephants and prevents them from entering into tribal villages. Elephants trained for temple duties are of a gentle nature and cannot face wild elephants. In this movie, a tribal village wants to hire a Kumki elephant to chase away wild elephants which enter the village every harvest season. The mahout, who is in want of money, takes his temple-trained elephant to do this job, in the vain hope that wild elephants won't come in. But wild elephants start attacking the village on the harvest day. The temple-trained elephant gets into musth and thus fights with the wild elephants, kills the most notorious among the herd, and dies from injuries sustained during the fight.

In his James Bond novel The Man With the Golden Gun, Ian Fleming wrote that the villain, Francisco Scaramanga, was driven to become a cold-blooded assassin after authorities shot an elephant that he had ridden in his circus act, after the elephant went on a rampage while in musth.

In Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days, Phileas Fogg buys an elephant which was being fed sugar and butter so it would go into musth for combat purposes; however, the animal has been on this regimen for a relatively short time so the condition has not yet presented.

References[edit]

  1. ^The Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus: American edition, published 1996 by Oxford University Press; p. 984
  2. ^Rasmussen, Lois E.; Buss, Irven O.; Hess, David L.; Schmidt, Michael B. (1 March 1984). "Testosterone and Dihydrotestosterone Concentrations in Elephant Serum and Temporal Gland Secretions". Biology of Reproduction. 30 (2): 352–362. doi:10.1095/biolreprod30.2.352. PMID 6704470.
  3. ^"Musth of the elephant bulls – Upali.ch".
  4. ^Physiological Correlates of Musth: Lipid Metabolites and Chemical Composition of Exudates. L.E.L Rasmussen and Thomas E Perrin, Physiology & Behavior, October 1999, Volume 67, Issue 4, Pages 539–549, doi:10.1016/S0031-9384(99)00114-6
  5. ^Musth in elephants. Deepa Ananth, Zoo's print journal, 15(5), pages 259–262 (articleArchived 2018-06-04 at the Wayback Machine)
  6. ^Sukumar, R (2003). The living elephants: evolutionary ecology, behavior, and conservation. USA: Oxford University Press. p. 155. ISBN . Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  7. ^"Killing of black and white rhinoceroses by African elephants in Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park, South Africa" by Rob Slotow, Dave Balfour, and Owen Howison. Pachyderm 31 (July–December, 2001):14–20. Accessed 14 September 2007.
  8. ^ abSiebert, Charles (2006-10-08). "An Elephant Crackup?". New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 2007-06-16.
  9. ^"Killing of black and white rhinoceroses by African elephants in Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park, South Africa" by Rob Slotow, Dave Balfour, and Owen Howison. Pachyderm 31 (July–December, 2001):14–20. Accessed 14 September 2007.
  10. ^"Older Bull Elephants Control Young Males" by Bruce Page, Joyce Poole, Adam Klocke, G. Van Dyk, and R. Slotow. Nature 408 (23 November, 2000). Accessed 19 July 2019.
  11. ^Musth in Elephants, by Deepa Ananth; published April 2000 in Zoos' Print Journal 15(5):259-262; DOI:10.11609/JoTT.ZPJ.15.5.259-62
  12. ^MANAGING ELEPHANT IN MUSTH: A CASE REPORT, by Parag Nigam, Samir Sinha, Pradeep Malik, and Sushant Chowdhary; in Zoos' Print Journal 21(5): 2265-2266 (May 2006)
  13. ^"Saptacchada". venetiaansell.wordpress.com.
  14. ^Ramayana, Valmiki (August 2008). "Sundara kaanda reference to Musth". https://valmikiramayan.net. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  15. ^https://learnsangamtamil.com/pathitrupathu/ acc: 3/12/17

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Musth.
Look up musth in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musth

Vs elephant bull

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Elephant(tusker) 🐘 vs 🐂 bull attack and fighting near hosur anchetty full vedio (wait for the end)

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Now discussing:

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