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Mae keaw is our most mature elephant. She is 20 years old and weighs about 1,500 kilos. You can tell her apart from the others because not only is she the largest but she also has a colored trunk and ears. Mae keaw was born with one leg shorter than the others. Despite her disability, she was still overworked and carried heavy weight at a trekking camp for much of her life. This year, Mae keaw will undergo surgery to correct this disability. Here at Mae Rim, she acts as the matriarch of the family- When the younger elephants take a rest, she protectively stands over them. This sweet elephant loves reaching the highest branches of the mango trees, laying in the mud pool and giving warm, tender hugs with her trunk.
Happy is Maitong’s twin sister. She is two years old and weighs 500 kilos. You will notice that Happy has the longer tail and wider face (or smile)! Happy was also rescued from the circus right before they started to train her for shows. Happy has an amazing connection with her twin sister- just as most humans are close with their twins. When Happy and Maitong are not close to one another, they are very vocal and tend to be more mischievous. Happy is always wagging her ears and tail! She loves swimming, getting a good scratch on the forehead and stealing food out of her sister’s mouth.
Maitong is one of the twin baby elephants at the sanctuary. Twin elephants are considered very lucky! She is two years old, weighs about 500 kilos and is very energetic. Maitong’s mother performs tricks in the circus and the babies would have also started performing in shows had they not been rescued, just in time. Maitong has the shorter tail of the twins. Maitong loves to keep all of the elephants together and complains when they are apart. She loves rolling around in the water and splashing everyone in the mud pool!
Bunchu, the only male elephant here, is five years old. He has beautiful dark skin and his tusks are already quite large. This calm, handsome boy was rescued from a circus where he was abused and forced to perform tricks all day. Here at the sanctuary, Bunchu is already becoming the dominant elephant, despite his young age. He loves walking ahead of the other elephants! He is very vocal- when he runs off to play, he calls all of his friends to join him. Finally, he loves to get to know all of our guests by giving juicy kisses!
• African elephants:
o Big Ears
o Long tusks
o Larger bodies
o Brown skin
o Single dome head
o Nails: 4 in front, 3 in the back
o Smaller ears
o Small bodies
o Smaller tusks (very small on females)
o Darker (grey/black) skin
o Double dome head
o Nails: 5 in front, 4 in the back.
• African elephants are the biggest land mammal in the world.
• Pregnant for 22 months
• Newborn babies weigh 120 kilos.
• Elephants live between 60 and 70 years old. Oldest recorded elephant: 86 years old.
• The biggest elephant is from Angola. It weighs 10,000 kilos and is 2.96 meters tall.
• If elephants have food and water, they can happily live together. Conflict arises in periods of scarcity.
• Elephants can run up to 40 Km/h but cannot trot slowly.
• Females run faster than males.
• They can’t jump.
• They keep themselves clean by hitting their bodies with grass.
• Sleep 3-4 hours(between 11PM and 3AM)
• Asian Elephants sleep lying down, just like humans. If they sleep during the day, they might be sick.
• African Elephants sleep standing up. If they lie down, they might be sick or hurt.
Food and Drink
• Fully-grown Elephants eat 250 kilos per day.
• Eat for 16 hours per day
• Digest only 40% of food
• Elephants drink 227 liters (60 gallons) per day.
• They only drink clean water.
• They stow food in their cheeks and eat it while they walk.
• Important for Mahout! They follow the poo to find elephants in the jungle.
• They know if the Elephant is sick by always checking their poo.
• 28 teeth including tusks.
• At age 2, the teeth fall out for the first time.
• They regrow 6 times: at the age of 2, 6, 14, 28, 40 and 60.
• Elephants over age 60 can’t use their teeth- special food is prepared for them.
• When they are young, they have lots of hair. As they age, the hair falls out, except on their head and tail.
• Their skin is 3 cm thick, but they can still feel mosquitoes.
• They don’t sweat. They cover themselves in sand and mulch to cool their bodies down and avoid getting sunburnt.