African forest elephants are being poached out of existence. A new study with of largest dataset on forest elephants ever compiled reveals a loss of more than 60% in the past decade, due to slaughtering them for their ivory tusks. The decline is documented throughout forest elephant’s range in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, and Republic of Congo.

Distinct from the African savannah elephant, the African forest elephant is slightly smaller than its better known relative and is considered by many to be a separate species. They play a vital role in maintaining the biodiversity of one of the Earth’s critical carbon sequestering tropical forests.
read more

We know that animals talk to EACH OTHER, but lately, they’ve started talking to US (and they’re speaking our language as well!)

Elephants can communicate with each other, using sounds too high-pitched for us to hear, and if they want to "talk" to us, they can communicate telepathically. Now an Asian elephant named Koshik communicate to people more directly, by imitating human speech by vocalizing with his trunk.

But before we rush over there, we should know that he only speaks Korean, and that his vocabulary consists of five words.
read more

If you could read an elephant’s mind, would he be constantly thinking about sex? It’s doubtful: Zookeepers in the US have a big problem–new elephant bloodlines are needed and it’s hard to get enough elephant sperm.

The solution? Elephant sperm banks. The Pittsburgh Zoo has established the first elephant sperm bank in the US, joining an international groups of zoos, including ones in France. Semen will be collected from wild elephants in South Africa and frozen, then shipped to zoos that need more variety in order to avoid inbreeding.
read more

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:
read more