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Trampled on Safari Facts

On the houseboat, Athol has decided to head back out onto the lake to fish.  But then the elephants return and for Don the temptation to get more photos is too great.  Don creeps closer to get the perfect picture. The herd don't appear to have noticed him, but elephants have a super-sense that may already have altered them that he is there.  A young bull in the group turns to challenge him. But he's so concentrated, he misses the warning signs that could save his life.  Don is then attacked by the elephant.  He has taken a tusk through the groin.  But it is the impact of the elephant's head on his chest that stops his heart and kills him instantly.

On the houseboat, Athol has decided to head back out onto the lake to fish. But then the elephants return and for Don the temptation to get more photos is too great. Don creeps closer to get the perfect picture. The herd don't appear to have noticed him, but elephants have a super-sense that may already have altered them that he is there. A young bull in the group turns to challenge him. But he's so concentrated, he misses the warning signs that could save his life. Don is then attacked by the elephant. He has taken a tusk through the groin. But it is the impact of the elephant's head on his chest that stops his heart and kills him instantly. (View larger version)

Photograph by Getty Images

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  • Elephants moving at high speeds are actually walk-running. They bounce as if they were running, but all four feet remain on the ground, which is a hallmark of walking.

  • Elephants use their tusks to fight, locking them and attempting to wrestle with them. They also use them to gore each other. During fights elephants use their trunks to make loud noises in order to intimidate their opponent.

  • Elephants can recognize individual calls.

  • Elephants are right- or left-tusked.

  • An elephant’s foot is angled, with a large pad of fat and connective tissue at the heel, so technically they walk on tip-toes.

  • Elephants have six toes.

  • An African elephant typically weighs somewhere between nine thousand and twelve thousand pounds. The females weigh less than the males.

  • Elephants are the largest animals on land.

  • Elephants only digest 40% of what they eat, so they must eat a lot of food.

  • The elephant’s diet depends on the weather. In the wet season, they will eat a lot of grass, in the dry season they will eat bark.

  • Studies have shown that elephants feed around 16 hours a day.

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