African elephants

La Terre des Origines

African elephants

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Their trunks are extraordinarily powerful and sensitive, and contain thousands of muscles. A large adult male can weigh up to seven tonnes and measure three metres at the shoulder.

Pairi Daiza currently has three African bush elephants (Loxodonta africana):

SUZY : our first guest is called Suzy. Suzy was born in Botswana and orphaned as a baby. She was taken in by a wildlife park in Flanders, where she was hand-reared. Suzy lived there for 21 years before coming to our garden. When she arrived, her first companions were our Asian elephants, but in 2013 Suzy made a new friend: an African elephant named Gitana.

GITANA : Gitana came from a circus in Germany. When European laws were introduced that banned the use of certain animals in circuses, she was rescued by the German authorities and sent to Pairi Daiza. Despite concerns that her behaviour might be disturbed as a result of her previous life, she has settled in well and is firm friends with Suzy.

DAELA : another elephant rescued from a circus, this time in Sweden, where she lived with an Asian friend who came with her to Pairi Daiza. The two elephants have not been separated, to ensure that they have the best possible quality of life: at Pairi Daiza, the well-being of our animals is a top priority.

In the wild, elephants, which are very sociable animals, live in family groups which can have more than 10 members, including females, young males and calves, under the guidance of a matriarch. Although they are protected by international laws, elephants are extremely vulnerable due to relentless poaching: thousands are slaughtered every year (100 a day, or one every 15 minutes!) for their ivory tusks. In 1930, there were five million elephants; this number has now dropped to between 400,000 and 650,000. At this rate, they will be extinct within 20 years...

This world's activities

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African elephants

African elephants

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The shoebill

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The White rhino

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The red river hog

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The greater kudu

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