In this special video, my wife Cute Black Housewife narrates a short documentary about African bush elephants. I filmed the majority of the footage in Zambia’s South Luangwa Valley in November 2016, but there’s a few clips near the end that are stock clips. Namely, the poached elephant and elephant bones and the hunter with the rifle. Anyways, the video and script are below!
African bush elephants are the world’s largest terrestrial animals. They stand over 13 feet (4 meters) tall and weigh over 10 tons! That’s as tall as a city bus and nearly as heavy as one, too!
They also have huge ears, which can grow as big as 6.6 feet by 4.9 feet (2 meters by 1.5 meters). They use their giant ears to reduce body heat. By flapping their ears, they create air currents and expose the inner blood vessels that help cool them down on those hot, sweltering days.
They also won’t shy away from a nice mud bath to cool down. Everyone likes a good mud mask, and elephants no strangers to self-care.
Of course, elephants often need self-care, especially mother elephants. That’s because elephants have the longest pregnancy of any living animal. Did you know they can be pregnant for almost two years?! And their newborn baby can weigh up to 260 pounds (120 kilograms)! Talk about labor and delivery!
In order to support their size, adult African bush elephants eat up to 330 pounds (150 kilograms) of food a day and drink 50 to 60 gallons (180 to 230 liters) of water a day. They normally eat grasses, herbs, creepers, and fruit. However, in the dry season, they will also eat tree bark (huh, that doesn’t sound all that tasty), which contains high levels of calcium. They use their iconic tusks and trunks to strip bark from trees and clear forests like bulldozers.
Unfortunately, having tusks does come with a severe disadvantage. Namely, they are targets for poachers who want to get in on the ivory trade. This has caused tusked elephants to be hunted in greater amounts. This human interference has affected the evolution of elephants with long term effects.
In some parts of Africa, tuskless elephants are becoming more common. Although elephants that keep their natural tusks have an advantage in the wild, tuskless elephants are less desired by humans and have survived in much greater numbers.
Hopefully, we will not wipe these magnificent mammals off the face of the planet, so future generations can continue to observe them.
Hey there, adventurer! Some of you may or may not know that I am, in fact, not Tidewater Teddy. This is Rebecca aka Cute Black Housewife. I have my own channel where I speak on non animal related topics. Occasionally, you’ll be hearing me in the background of Teddy’s work, which is primarily where I like to be. I hope you enjoyed this video, and let us know what other animals you’d love to learn more about. See you next time!