Elephant family


Cow and calf
Elephants are very attentive mothers, and because most elephant behaviour has to be learned, they keep their offspring with them for many years. The calf suckles with its mouth (the trunk is held over its head); when its tusks are 5 or 6 inches long, they begin to disturb the mother and she weans her calf.
Once weaned, usually at the age of 4 or 5, the calf still remains in the maternal group. Young elephants reach puberty at around 14 - 15 years old.
Bathing
Bathing elephants roll and wallow in the shallow water, often submerge completely in deeper waters. At small water holes, the trunk is used to shower. They spray dirt and mud over their wet bodies. This
serves as a protective coating, shielding the elephant's skin from the harsh ultraviolet radiation of the sun, insect bites and moisture loss. After bathing, the elephant usually blows soil on its body to help dry and bake on its new protective coat.


Names
(en) Elephant
(sc) Loxondonta africana
(nl) Afrikaanse olifant
(af) Afrikaanse olifant