SOME FACTS ABOUT ELEPHANTS
Elephants are the largest of all land animals, (mammals) and are among the most recognizable creatures on Earth. Uganda is blessed to be a natural habitat for elephants hosted by its different National parks like Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Kidepo National Park amongst several others. Uganda’s elephants belong to the African species of elephants, which consist of African forest elephants and African bush elephants.
Elephants live in big groups lead by the oldest and usually largest female to form tight matriarchal family groups, of related females called a herd. Elephant herds usually comprise 8-100 individuals depending on topography and family size. New calves are raised and protected by the whole matriarchal herd. Male elephants leave the family unit between the ages of 12-15 to lead solitary lives or live temporarily with other males. These animals have a good memory that serves matriarchs well during dry seasons to guide their herds, to watering holes that they remember from the past. Elephants show signs of play, grief, joy, and anger.
Unfortunately, elephants are under great threat and are mercilessly hunted for their ivory tusks. In Uganda, the elephant populations were drastically reduced as a result of heightened poaching in the 1980s enhanced by the atmosphere of political unrest. The elephant populations have recovered greatly now but the effort to protect them is still needed.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature, (IUCN) lists elephants are threatened species. Off Road Uganda Safaris is against elephant poaching and backs the international ban on the trade of ivory in every way possible.