African Elephant

African Elephant (HMCSD)

Location: Greenville, SC 29601 Greenville County
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Country: United States of America
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N 34° 50.8', W 82° 23.25'

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Loxodonta africana

In Greenville!
Joy eats 2 bales of hay, 25 pounds of grain, 20 pounds of fruits and vegetables, with vitamin supplements added, and browse. Total food consumption is up to 200 pounds each day.

Joy, a female, weighs over 8,000 pounds and is just under 8 feet tall. Females are smaller than males, but not dainty.

It's impolite to ask a lady her age, however, Joy was born in 1970 and has been a popular resident of the Greenville Zoo since 1977.

Because "elephant years" are about the same as human years, you can expect to visit Joy for many years to come.

Each morning, Joy is bathed and her back and feet scrubbed thoroughly. During her morning bath, she is inspected carefully for anything out of the ordinary, her teeth are examined and the condition of each foot is reviewed closely.

An elephant's feet must be kept in very good condition at all times. They put a lot of weight on their feet and can't just sit back and put their feet up as we do. A cut or scrape or any cracking of the skin on the pads of their feet could easily result in lameness or worse, a life threatening infection. In addition to the daily inspection and cleaning of her feet, the pads of her feet are trimmed regularly as are her toenails. Yet, she does have her nails done regularly.

In the Wild!
Elephants eat just about any kind of plant material; grasses, flowers, fruit, and even known down trees for leaves and bark. They may consume up to 350 pounds of food a day, depending on the quality.

Males, the largest living land animals, can weigh over 12,000 pounds and reach a height of more than 12 feet.

Elephants live 60 to 70 years. A "natural" cause of death for old elephants is worn out teeth. They have four very large molars or grinding teeth. As they wear out, they are replaced, but only six times throughout their life. When the last molars wear out, they can no longer grind their food, ultimately starving.

Elephants live in herds of 6 to 12 animals, sometimes more. The herd is led by the matriarch, usually the oldest, most experienced female, and includes her daughters and their offspring, but no adult males. They mare at about 15 years of age. Pregnancy last 22 months; the single calf weights about 250 pounds at birth and nurses for two years. Mothers, grandmothers, sisters and aunts all help raise babies. Male calves leave the herd as they reach puberty.

Adult males live alone or in "breeder bands." When a male is reach to breed, he approaches the matriarch-led herd, signaling his intentions. When done, he rejoins the "bachelor band" or goes off on his own.

Are They Endangered?
There are two species of elephants, the African and the Asian, Elephas maximus. The Asian elephant is endangered, with only 30,000 to 40,000 remaining in the wild. African elephants are threatened, a step away from endangered, with about 600,000 remaining, down from 1.5 million in 1978. Their rapid decline was due to the loss of habitation and to the illegal killing of elephants for their ivory tusks. A world-wide ban on the trade in ivory has greatly reduced, but not eliminated the numbers killed for their tusks.

Habitat loss occurs when human population and activities increase and the elephant's territory is broken into smaller and smaller pieces, leaving them without enough space to live and eat.

When protected, as in a national park, elephants thrive and the herds grow. But, if the growth is not controlled, they will eat themselves out of house and home. In the past, excess animals were shot or died of starvation. Now, birth control is being viewed as a solution. Elephants in Kruger National Park, South Africa have been inoculated with a birth control vaccine. The Greenville Zoo was one of two zoos that participated in a program to test the vaccine. Now, her wild relatives may have a better life because of the research that involved Joy.
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Date Added Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 at 2:42pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 373148 N 3856916
Decimal Degrees34.84666667, -82.38750000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 50.8', W 82° 23.25'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 50' 48.00" N, 82° 23' 15.00" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)803, 864
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 101-157 Cleveland Park Dr, Greenville SC 29601, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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