Newborn baby elephants already weigh 100 kilograms and are 90 centimetres tall. After just half an hour they can stand on their own legs and run with the herd.
Baby elephants are still quite clumsy after their birth and must first learn how to handle their trunks. They are still not able to feed themselves with it, so suckle from their mothers for the first year. In the process they gain a good kilo in weight each day. It is very important that they grow big quickly, because a lion or crocodile can hardly cause any harm to healthy, adult animals. If a predator does come dangerously close, the adults form a circle around the young. They are well protected in the middle.
At birth, a baby elephant falls from a height of around 7 centimetres. But this doesn't harm it.
- Scientific name: Loxodonta africana
- Global home: Africa
- Conservation status: Vulnerable
- Primary habitat: Forest, Grassland, Savanna, Shrubland