Tuesday, November 11, 2014

AFRICAN ELEPHANT: Having a Rich Emotional Life

To those first encountering African Elephant, He seems large and strong. With his great curved tusks, long nose, and great ears, African Elephant seems like a creature from prehistory. At one time, the earth was filled with Trunked Mammals (Proboscidea), and now there are only two left – Asian Elephant and African Elephant (who are not close relatives).

Despite African Elephant’s great weight, He walks almost noiselessly through the African plains and forests. Using his long trunk as a hand, African Elephant browses trees and grass, chomping on green plants. Playing a vital role is the ecosystem of Africa, He is a keystone species. His herd’s paths act as a firebreak. His wallows are small pools for water. He disperses seeds from one place to another, converting the savannah to grassland.

Living a close-knit group, African Elephant’s herd is ruled by a Matriarch, an Old Cow. (The Bulls have their own small group within the herd.) Ever affectionate, African Elephant is willing to risk his life to prevent a death of a family member.  Greeting his friends with low rumbles and trumpets, He welcomes Them back to the herd. He snorts and rumbles good-bye to his Friends when He leaves to browse.

“An elephant never forgets” is in reference to African Elephant’s rich emotional memories. He remembers what happens to Him and his Family Members especially if They are harmed in any way. African Elephant notices and remembers when One Elephant has something the Others cannot have. He will settle scores and harbor grudges.

African Elephant has a rich emotional life. He beckons you to have one as well. Like people, African Elephant cares what happens to Him and Those he loves.

Just do not harbor grudges like African Elephant does.
Note: Although Asian Elephant (Elephas maxims) and African Elephant (Lexodonta African) are the only remaining members of the Proboscidea (trunked mammals) Order, they are not close relatives of each other. Asian Elephant, which is closer in DNA to Mammoths, evolved as a separate Asian species. African Elephant has larger ears and a sloped head.

Conservation Note: African Elephant is endangered.

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