baby elephant in the wild

5 Reasons We’re Enthusiastic About Elephants



Seriously. What’s not to love about elephants?

closeup of an elephant

1. Elephants have magical memories

Elephants have the largest brains out of all land mammals, which may explain why an elephant’s memory is undeniably impressive. Elephants are able to remember specific locations like watering holes long after they first visited them, and they can recognize specific elephants after decades apart. Still not convinced of elephants’ abilities? Elephants even know when their favorite fruits will ripen and modify their traveling schedules to arrive right on time for optimal munching.

a close-up of an elephant

2. An elephant’s trunk has more muscles than the entire human body

While the human body has nearly 700 muscles, an elephant’s trunk has 40,000! Elephants use their trunks for pretty much everything, including breathing, eating, drinking, smelling, grabbing, and communicating with other elephants. With a nose so powerful, its capabilities must be learned, which is why baby elephants are born with small trunks that grow as they age.

elephant digging in the mud

3. Elephants play an important role in their ecosystems

For example, the size of an elephant is incredibly useful for maintaining ecosystems. During periods of drought, elephants will dig holes in the ground to find sources of water, thus benefitting other thirsty animals. In addition, because elephants eat so much, the defecation they leave behind as they travel is useful in spreading seeds and creating new vegetation.

elephants walking with a view of the bottom of an elephant

4. Elephants have ears that aren’t on their heads

Did you know elephants can hear through their feet? Elephants utilize seismic communication, which is the ability to gain information through vibrations. When an elephant vocalizes, other elephants’ feet pick up these sound waves through the earth. Valuable messages can be sent this way, including alarm signals and mating calls.

baby elephant snuggling their mama

5. Elephants are extremely loving animals

Elephants live in a matriarchal society, meaning that the herd is raised and led by adult females. A mother elephant’s bond with her baby is unmatched—they touch each other nearly constantly, and the mother elephant assists her baby in every aspect of the baby’s development, from traveling to grooming to staying out of harm’s way. Additionally, because elephants love so fiercely, they are also known to mourn the loss of their herd members, even years after the death.

Bonus fact: It’s no secret that elephants have been a staple in circuses and other entertainment for years. Unfortunately, elephants used for entertainment endure immense cruelty when they’re forced to perform unnatural and painful tricks. To make matters worse, they’re often kept in cramped cages—the opposite of their natural habitats.

In our report, Devastating Deals: How Groupon Rakes in Profits from Wild Animal Exploitation, we expose how global e-commerce company Groupon sells deals to venues that exploit animals like elephants. Some such venues sold on Groupon, like Endangered Ark in Oklahoma, has been reported to force elephants to receive pedicures and deliver breakfast, while other venues like Vision Quest Ranch in California and Two Tails Ranch in Florida use bullhooks on elephants and make them perform tricks.

Help protect elephants and tell Groupon to stop selling deals to venues that exploit and harm wild animals like elephants. By supporting our campaign, elephants will become one step closer to no longer being entertainers but simply wild animals left to live peacefully in the wild—where they belong.

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