Jock Safari Lodge Pays Tribute to World Elephant Day

August 12th 2017, officially marks World Elephant Day, which is dedicated to help conserve and protect elephants from the numerous threats they face. However, every day is elephant awareness day for us here at Jock Safari Lodge in the Kruger National Park! Elephants are truly impressive: matriarchal, social, communicative and creative.

“Return to old watering holes for more than water; friends and dreams are there to meet you’’ – African proverb

Some Cool and Unusual Elephant Facts:

  • The word ‘elephant’ comes from the Greek word ‘elephas’ which means ‘ivory’
  • Elephants love water and can swim by using their trunk like a snorkel; but they cannot jump
  • Elephant females can have babies until they are about 50 years old and have the longest gestation of all mammals – almost 22 months
  • An elephant’s skin is so sensitive that they can feel a fly landing on it
  • Elephants communicate to each other through touch, sound and scent and even communicate at infrasonic levels (which humans can’t hear)
  • The closest living relatives to elephants are hyraxes (commonly referred to in S.A as the dassie)
  • Elephants use their sensory cells in their feet to listen and can detect seismic signals and pick up sub-sonic rumblings made by other elephants through vibrations in the ground
  • Elephants use mud as a sunscreen, protecting their skin from ultra-violet light
  • Elephants are able to recognise themselves in a mirror; self-recognition indicates a very high level of awareness – only humans, primates, marine mammals & magpies have so far been found to recognise themselves in mirrors
  • The trunk of an elephant has more than 40 000 muscles in it and although incredibly strong & powerful it is also nimble and sensitive – from lifting an elephant calf to plucking a flower

‘’the world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful’’ – e.e.cummings

Blog by Belinda Strauss and Video clip by Roger de la Harpe

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