Endangered Species: Elephant

A Christiansburg Elementary Project
Submitted by Lindsay of Christiansburg Elementary School
Christiansburg, VA, U.S.A.


Photographer Unknown

Why Study This Topic? What Was Already Known Search for Information Description of Plant or Animal Habitat Requirements
Adaptations Reasons for Endangerment Restoration Actions What Was Learned Conclusions from Research

Why Study This Topic?

  I want to know a lot more about elephants or at least more than what I already know. For example, I want to know why are they endangered? I'm interested in the elephant because, they're one of my favorite animals. I also want to find out as much as I can about them. If I find out more about them, maybe I could help them live longer than scientists predict.

What Was Already Known

  I knew a lot about elephants already. At least, I think I know more than most people I know. The things I know about elephants are that elephants are so close to eachother that they bury their own dead under a brush, with dirt, and other resources they can find. Then they stay with their dead for a few hours. I also know that elephants never go far from water, and that they take baths ( trunk showers) if water is scarce. Then they roll in dirt to keep insects off them. Elephants always stay in contact with eachother when the herd is apart by making a sound to tell the others their location. When an elephant knows that danger is near, that one stops making noises and warns the others. I know some more but I can't put it all down.   Why are African elephants endangered? There is several threats to their existence, but there is one main reason. The main reason for their endangerment is poaching. Poaching means illegal hunting of an animal, and in this case it's an elephant. People hunt the African elephant for their beautiful tusks. There is only 600,00 African elephants left in the wild. That may seem like a lot, but it really isn't. Poachers have killed most of the older ones, because they've got the biggest tusks. That is bad, because the strongest elephants can't breed and make more elephants, because they're dead!

Search for Information

  I looked up the African elephant on the Internet, Everything went fine until I went into one of the programs. Instead of getting African elephants, I got Addo elephants! I ended up thinking those were the elephants I should use. I took six pages of notes on the Addo elephant, and they weren't that good.   I spent a lot of time doing this research, but I only looked in one place and that was on the Internet. I looked my topic up on Netsearch. I got a lot of information from it too, three and a quarter pages. It helped me a lot on this research. I also learned a little from a book.

Description of Plant or Animal

  Elephants are the largest animals on earth. The African elephant males (bulls) normally reach to be twelve feet tall. They naturally weigh as much as four tons. The average females (cows) are one foot smaller than the males.
  Elephants are usually calm and not harsh, but they do become agressive when their young are threatend by a loin or a hyena.

Habitat Requirements

  To humans eating tree roots, twigs, leaves, and other grasses doesn't sound like a grand meal, but to elephants it's an every day meal.
  Elephants usually rest during the hot hours of the day. Members of family herds usually huddle together in the shade during this time. When the day is over, the herd goes to drink water and bathe.


  Being so monsterous, elephants have few enemies. Mostly, only elephant young have enemies, such as lions and hyenas, and a couple other predators. Since babies have protective parents, they don't have to fear their predators. The only true enemy that elephants that they can't defend against, sadly to say, is people.   Elephants have noticable features. Most people think th at all elephants have huge ears, but they don't. Some elephants have smaller ears. It's not like they have itsy bitsty ears, just smaller than most elephants. African elephants have enormus ears. They have a long trunk and big tusks. Patchy skin covers their body with wrinkles.They've got tired-looking eyes that carry bags under them. Their tail is long, but at the same time somewhat thick and long, with broom-like hair at the end.

Reasons for Endangerment

  The reason elephants are endangered is because people are poaching them (illegal hunting). The nimber of elephants left is 600,00. That seems like a lot of elephants, but if people keep on poaching them, it will lead to thier extinction. In fact, people have been poaching elephants so much scientists don't know what to do. I do know if in the future scientists will be able to save the elephants.

Restoration Actions

  If people don't stop the elephant poaching, African elephants are going to be extinct. My idea to save the African elephants is to have what I call "Airial Duty". That means that we could have some people stay up in the sky in helicopters and follow the elephants. The people in the helicopters would have certain hours on duty. If they saw someone poaching, they could fly down and arrest them. That's my idea on saving the elephants.

What Was Learned

  What I learned was little. I did learn a few things. I learned that there's was only 600,000 elephants left in the wild. I also learned that elephants usually loose their teeth around the age of 70 and die soon after from starvation. Another thing I learned is that females stay in one herd and males stay in another. The last thing I learned is that a baby elephant or calf stays with its mother for four years.

Conclusions From Research

  I think that this reseach is going to help me do more research in the future. It has helped me learn more about my favorite animal. Hopefuly, in the future, I'll be able to help save African elephants. Maybe this research will help me do more than help me do research and save the elephants.


Kelsey,E. (1988). Our Wildlife World" Grolier Limited, New York, New York
"http://www.users.fl.net.au/~rodac/courteney/eles.html" Elephants of Addo "http://www.oaklandzoo.org/oz/zoo/atoz/azeleph.html" Oakland Zoo Elephants "http://www.syspac.com/~lcks1/ele.htm" Where Elephants Live 
Click here for more information on the African elephant!

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Christiansburg Elementary
Last updated on March 12, 1997