Why I Love Elephants (Ten Photos)

Elephants are a majestic species. If you have any doubt how much I adore them, I have a traditional Thai tattoo of an elephant on my right shoulder. They are such a contradiction, so powerful, yet so gentle at the same time. They look brutish, but they are among the most intelligent species of animal. Elephants are renowned for their memory. There are stories of elephants being reunited with lost family members, trainers, and scientists after several years. They remember, and you can see their emotion.

1: An African elephant youngster shares a tender moment its mother. Touching is an essential part of elephant communication.
2: An African elephant family group. The adult females surround the calves to protect them from predators. Mature elephants are seldom targeted because of their imposing size.
3: The same African elephant family group on the move. They travel in a straight line with the calves in the middle.
4: An African elephant fanning her ears. Elephants use their ears to regulate body temperature. Because Africa can be particularly hot, African elephant ears have evolved to become particularly large. Warm blood flows into the numerous blood vessels in the ears, where it is cooled before reentering the body. Her broken tusk and tattered ears show that life for an elephant is anything but easy.
5: Elephants symbolize many different things in various cultures. These include strength, intelligence, stubbornness, wisdom, and luck. The list goes on and on. This particular photo of an African elephant encompasses all of these traits to me.
6: This is the only photo in this collection of an African male. Males are mostly solitary outside of mating season. This particular bull has coated himself in mud. Elephants use mud to protect themselves from the sun and also parasites. Notice there is also a little bird hitching a ride? Small birds such as this one will hang out on large animals, waiting for a tasty parasite meal.
7: An Asian elephant with her calf. Notice how much smaller the ears are compared to an African elephant.
8: An Asian elephant mother and calf enjoying some water.
9: This juvenile Asian elephant is scratching its head against a tree. They do this to get rid of pests and parasites.
10: This is one of my favorite elephant photos. I’m not sure why. It looks like an album cover.

African elephants are considered in vulnerable status, while Asian elephants are endangered.  Consider donating to one of the many elephant charities to promote conservation of these magnificent creatures.

Here’s a list:



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