This magical beast is definitely one of my own favourites.
The African elephant is the world’s biggest land animal. There are two subspecies – the larger savannah elephant, which roams grassy plains and woodlands, and the smaller forest elephant, which lives in the forests of central Africa.
Female African elephants are very social animals. They live in strongly bonded groups – called herds – with their relatives. Males usually live alone but sometimes form small groups with other males. Elephants need a lot of space to find food and water – they can roam areas bigger than 30,000 sq km.
The African elephants’ range has declined by over 50% since 1979 – and their populations are becoming more fragmented. While some are secure and expanding, other populations are in decline – particularly in central Africa.
With only 600,000 elephants in the wild – and threats from poaching, habitat loss and conflict with people – this intelligent and powerful animal is officially classed as vulnerable.
Words by WWF UK