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African Elephant الفيل الأفريقي

Naeema                                       نعيمة  
African Elephant is also called Savannah Elephant.

Class:     Mammalia
Order:     Proboscidea
Family:   Elephantidae
Species: Loxodonta africana

Distribution:
It is native to Sub-Saharan East and Central Africa.

Habitat:
They inhabit Savannah grassland.

Description:
This is the largest living terrestrial mammal. Its enormous ears serve to dissipate body heat and brush away insect from its eyes. The upper incisors form tusks which average about 1.5 m long and weigh about 16 kg.
The trunk has 2 fingerlike processes at the tip. The forest subspecies of this elephant is smaller than the savanna race.
Length of head and body including trunk up to 7.5 m; shoulder height to 3 - 3.5 m; weight may exceed 6000 kg.
African elephants are distinguished from Asian elephants in several ways, the most noticeable being their ears which are much larger. African elephant is typically larger than Asian elephant and has a concave back. Both African males and females have external tusks and are usually less hairy than their Asian cousins.

Life span:
African elephants live for 55-60 years, and over 80 years in captivity.

Diet:
African elephants eat bark, fruit, grass and leaves. They will push down trees to eat from them. Water is essential and they can consume up to 50 gallons a day.

Behavior:
African Elephant is an intelligent animal. ,Experiments with reasoning and learning show that they are the smartest ungulates together with their Asian cousins. This is mostly due to their large brain. Herds are made up of related females and their young, directed by the eldest female, called the matriarch. Infrequently, an adult male goes with them, but those usually leave the pack when reaching adolescence to form herds with other elephants of the same age. Later, they spread out, carrying out a lonely life, approaching the female herds only during the mating season. Nevertheless, elephants do not get too far from their families and recognize them when reencountered. Sometimes, several female herds can blend for a period of time, reaching even hundreds of individuals.

Reproduction:
There is no breeding season. Females breed every 4 years and are only receptive for between 3-6 days, so bulls in musth need to be alert to the location of receptive females. They listen for the females tummy-rumbles that can be heard from many Kilometers. When mating takes place, the entire family takes part in a noisy melee known as the mating pandemonium, during which they rush about in an agitated state and trumpet loudly. The gestation period is 22 months long. Females remain fertile for up to sixty years.

 Conservation Status:
IUCN Red List: Endangered

 Naeema:
She was first brought to the zoo at 1983. She came with her brother Shaker. They lived together tell he got sick and died at 1995. Naeema is very friendly with kids. She likes to say "Hey" with her trunk to people.

 References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loxodonta_africana
http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/12392/0
http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Loxodonta_africana.html

 
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