|Endangered Species: Elephant
A Christiansburg Elementary Project
Submitted by Lindsay of Christiansburg Elementary School
Christiansburg, VA, U.S.A.
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
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
To humans eating tree roots, twigs, leaves, and other
grasses doesn't sound like a grand meal, but to elephants it's an every
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.
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
Kelsey,E. (1988). Our Wildlife World" Grolier Limited,
New York, New York
Elephants of Addo "http://www.oaklandzoo.org/oz/zoo/atoz/azeleph.html"
Oakland Zoo Elephants "http://www.syspac.com/~lcks1/ele.htm" Where Elephants
for more information on the African elephant!
Return to Mammal page.
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© copyright 1997
Last updated on March 12, 1997