The African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) is one of the smallest elephants in the world. Lately scientists considered African bush elephants and African forest elephants as one species. However the studies suggest that both species separated 2 – 7 million years ago.
African Forest Elephant 🐘Facts
Adult African forest elephants are smaller than the bush elephants. They can only reach the height of 8.2 feet. They weigh up to 5,950 pounds.
African forest elephants are found in the Congo Basin. They will make habitats in lowland tropical rainforests.
Like other elephants, African forest elephants are also herbivores. They will eat a wide variety of trees, barks, leaves, mineral licks, seeds, and fruits. Fruits and seeds make up much of the elephant’s diet.
The African forest elephant prefers to live in places where the daytime temperature reaches 120o C.
Unlike African bush elephants, the African forest elephant as relatively straighter and narrower tusks. The length of the tusk is measured at 1.5 meters. Males usually use tusks in fighting.
There are 100,000 muscles in the elephant’s trunk. Thanks to these muscles the elephant can use it in many ways such as in communication, drinking water, producing sounds, or simply fighting. They will also use their trunks in defense.
African forest elephants have smaller ears in comparison to the African bush elephants.
They will travel in small groups. Each group consists of 3 – 5 individuals.
African elephants use their acute sense of hearing and smell to find food. Their sense of sight is probably not as good. They have the ability to hear vibrations through the ground.
They reach the maturity at 8 – 12 years age. The average weight of a baby elephant is about 230 pounds.
African forest elephants can live as long as 60 – 70 years.
Generally elephants do not seem to have any natural predator in the wild habitat. Humans are possibly the only threats to the African forest elephants. Humans have long hunted African elephants for poaching. Over the last 10 years scientists witnessed a 65% decline in the African forest elephant’s overall population.