Elephants are the world's biggest terrestrial animals, mostly found in Africa and Asia. As one might expect, the gentle-but-giant herbivores require a lot of fuel, and the typical adult elephant consumes 330 pounds of plants every day. However, given that elephants weight around 5,000 and 14,000 pounds, 330 pounds of food seems reasonable. The elephants are not in good health, despite their massive size. Due to trafficking, global warming, and habitat degradation, all three existing species of elephants are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List. The three species are African bush elephants and Asian elephants, as well as Critically Endangered Forest tree elephants.
What is an Elephant's Average Lifespan?
Asian elephants have a life expectancy of 48 years. African elephants generally live to be 60 or 70 years old. Elephants in zoos have the lowest lifespans. A six-year research demonstrates that pachyderms in Europe zoos die far earlier than those in African and Asian protected nature areas. Experts believe that elephants' psychological state suffers dramatically in captivity, to the point that anxiety can result in death.
Factors Affecting Lifespan of Wild Elephants
Poaching is a Serious Threat: Poaching is a growing concern for the pachyderm species, despite the fact that elephants spend significantly longer lives compared to other wild species. According to some accounts, approximately 30,000 elephants are slaughtered unlawfully for their tusks every year. The issue is both disastrous and confusing. Corporate expansion and urban growth have wrecked many regions' traditional livelihoods, and local salaries designed to replace them are stagnant and inadequate. However, because ivory black market purchasers are ready to pay enough to maintain a poor family for a whole year, poaching persists. Fixing the problem will necessitate a multifaceted strategy that takes into account sociocultural, financial, and mental factors at both the local and global level.
Why Captive Elephants live shorter life?
Elephants are very gregarious creatures, and the pressure of confinement typically causes them to live shorter lives. Elephants in the wild are always on the move, travelling for miles during the year. When they are imprisoned, the limited conditions they must dwell in give them a significant stress. Finally, many Asian elephants in confinement have died as a result of the herpes virus. This is because imprisoned Asian elephants are frequently infected with a fatal strain of the herpes simplex virus received from African elephants, a combination that would never occur in the wild since the two species have no common interests.
Elephants do not survive long in confinement because it is difficult for most zoos to replicate their natural environment. They frequently feel melancholy if there isn't enough space in the cages to move. Elephants are accustomed to living in large open expanses, but many zoos cannot provide that sort of enclosure, thus the elephant is forced to live in a limited area and is unhappy as a result. Elephants can also grow fat since they don't receive as much exercise and have a consistent source of food that they don't have to hunt over.
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