Whitley communicated with an elephant in Portland Zoo. Sadly, a new study comparing wild?and even working?elephants with those found in zoos finds that the zoo animals have much shorter lives, mainly because they don’t get enough exercise, so they get too fat.

The average lifespan for African elephants is only 19 years, compared with 56 years for elephants in the wild, who live almost 3 times longer!

BBC News quotes elephant expert Ros Clubb as saying, “The vast majority are overweight in zoos, this could explain the high still-birth rates and why they’re dying early. Bigger mothers have bigger calves and more of these are still-born.”

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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