Elephants: Big and Beautiful Animals of South Africa

So, they suck the water up into their trunk and then squirt it into their mouth. An elephant's trunk is their most useful tool.

Elephants have big ears that look like fans. These ears are very sensitive and great for hearing sounds that are very far away. They also are important for elephants to stay cool in the hot African sun. When they get too hot, elephants flap their ears to cool down just like you might fan yourself on a hot day. The large surface of the ear helps them lose body heat as they flap and keeps them comfortable. A fun fact about elephant ears is that they are shaped like the continent of Africa!

How did I feel when I saw it?:

It is hard to understand how big a fully grown elephant is until you've been right next to one. They tower over everything else on the savanna, and some of the biggest ones even towered over the large safari vehicle I was in! When I got up close to an elephant, I was amazed by how big and powerful they are. Even though they look friendly, I know that wild elephants can be very dangerous. I wasn't scared, though, because elephants will let you know if you are bothering them with their body language. An angry elephant will have wide eyes, shake their head or kick up dust. If you see an elephant doing these things, it is important to give the animal lots of space!

Where does it live?:

African elephants live in many different environments. They can be found in the tree-packed rainforest to the open savanna grassland. Elephants aren't picky eaters, but they need to eat lots of plants every day. They will live anywhere that has enough leaves, fruits, grasses and roots to support them.