Max. Size: The African elephant is the largest land dwelling animal and it reaches up to 24.0 feet in length and 11.5 feet in height at the shoulder, and weighs up to 22,000 pounds. Max. age: The elephants grow several replacement sets of teeth until the age of about 70 years old. After their last set of teeth is replaced, the animal dies of starvation in the wild because it cannot feed correctly. Population Size in the Wild: Currently, more than 10,000 mature individuals in the wild
Why is the species in danger?
Due to habitat loss/degradation such as clearcutting for timber, for livestock grazing area, and for infrastructure development, African elephants are loosing their natural habitat. In addition, accidental mortality due to trapping, netting, snaring, shooting, and poisoning have brought their numbers very low. Most imposing is the human persecution in the form of poaching and pest control which has brought their population size to near extinction over the years. For example, in southeastern Chad (in Africa), the elephant population is dwindling even today due to continued poaching. The elephant population used to exceed 300,000. Today, there are less than 10,000 of the elephants in the region.
What is being done to rescue the species?
Communication and education concerning the vulnerable status of the species as well as legislation put in place to protect the species has helped to increase the African elephant population size over the past decade. Also, by learning more about these majestic animals, we have learned how best to rejuvenate their population; through protection of their natural habitat. With regard to Chad, the elephants is officially protected by the Chadian government. However, the manpower and resources available in Chad are insufficient to prevent further poaching in the area.
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