Seeing elephants in their natural African habitat is undeniably magical. This stunning species resides in sub-Saharan Africa and the rainforests of Central and West Africa. They are rather hard to miss considering their massive size – reaching 8.2 to 13 feet from shoulder to toe and weighing a whopping 5,000 to 14,000 pounds once full grown.
You may even be lucky enough to see a baby elephant during your next safari excursion. If you do, they will be accompanied by a herd of other elephants being led by the “matriarch” oldest female elephant. A newborn baby elephant weighs around 200 pounds and is around 3 feet tall. The size of the brain of elephant newborns is 30 to 40 percent the size of their elephant parents.
Baby elephants may consume as much as 11.4 liters of milk daily. In addition to feeding, their other daily activities include resting and traveling with their elephant herd.
They might also have to learn some manners and rules, such as expecting another elephant to extend its trunk as a welcome sign upon meeting. The matriarch elephant teaches her young how to act properly so that one day, when they are 13 to 20 years old, they will be grown up enough to have their own babies.
You could say that these amazing young elephant creatures are reluctant to separate from the herd considering that they start the weaning process in their first year of life and proceed to be weaned until around their tenth year. Their dependence on their mother, especially during their first five years, is truly heart warming.