Young African elephants at the San Diego Zoo’s Safari park
The San Diego Zoological Society — operators of the San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park — has been extremely successful in breeding African elephants (Loxodonta africana), a vulnerable species in its native African habitat.
Every time there is a little one born — and l’m not sure a 200-pound baby elephant is little, but I guess everything is relative since big daddies weigh over 10,000 pounds — I can’t resist heading to the Zoo or Safari Park to see if I can get a good picture. It’s hit or miss.
Last September, when Inhlonipho was born, I headed to the Zoo and got not only a picture of him, but some great pictures of several younger elephants. In the first picture below, Inhlonipho is the smallest elephant at the lower left corner. He was four days old and weight about 250 pounds.
Mommy is at the left side of the picture, and daddy, named Mabhulane (Mabu for short), is at the right side. The four young elephants, all progeny of Mabu, were born in 2011, 2010, and 2009. Here are two more pictures of the younger elephants:
I believe the herd of African elephants at Safari park currently number 17. One of the female elephants, Umoya, died in November 2011 after an altercation with another elephant. Umoya had two children by Mabu, a female born in 2007 and a male born in 2010.
Other interesting things you might not know about African elephants:
African elephants are the largest living land animals.
Males weigh up to 13,300 pounds.
Elephants eventually lose all their teeth, resulting in starvation being a common cause of death.
Both male and female African elephants have tusks.
Gestation period is almost two years. Mamma mia!
They are highly intelligent and considered one of the world’s most intelligent species.
Elephant behaviors include grief, learning, mimicry, play, compassion, cooperation, memory, self-awareness, humor, cooperation, compassion, and possibly language.
Find other posts in my Picture of the Moment series by clicking on the logo at the upper right.