Éléphant d'Afrique - Animaux extraordinaires du ZooParc

African elephant

Loxodonta africana

IUCN status
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Éléphant d'Afrique - Animaux extraordinaires du ZooParc

« It’s not just the elephant’s weight and size that are record-breaking. »

The largest land mammal

The heavyweight champion!

The African savanna elephant can weigh more than 7 tonnes and reach up to 4 metres in height. The only animals that can compete with it for the title of heaviest animal are cetaceans, such as the blue whale… No other land mammal measures up. Huge amounts of food are needed to feed these giants! Every day at Beauval, each individual ingests 100 to 150 kg of plant material (fruits, leaves, branches, etc.), as well as around one hundred litres of water. These meals can most certainly be described as elephantine!

Éléphants d'Afrique - Animaux extraordinaires du ZooParc

Did you know?

Rungwe sets off for new adventures…

Rungwe, our 6-year-old elephant, is leaving Beauval for his new home at Magdeburg Zoo in Germany. Take a look back at his birth and his life at the ZooParc.

Beauval Nature helps fight against elephant poaching in Kenya

The Rombo Group Ranch in southern Kenya is home to some landscapes that are still untouched. It is a prime area for the conservation of many endangered species, such as the elephant. However, elephants still fall prey to ivory poachers and illegal hunting. 

The Beauval Nature association supports the Big Life foundation which has initiated, amongst other things, an ambitious project to monitor and fight against poaching within the ranch. As part of this project, more than 250 rangers were recruited from the local population to carry out daily patrols and mobile surveillance within the ranch.

Éléphant d'Afrique - Animaux extraordinaires du ZooParc

Beauval’s elephants

Beauval’s elephants play to their hearts’ content over several hectares of the park, the largest plains dedicated to elephants in France.

The herd was formed in 2003, with new individuals joining it in 2017!

Éléphants d'Afrique - Animaux extraordinaires du ZooParc
Éléphants d'Afrique - Animaux extraordinaires du ZooParc
Éléphants d'Afrique - Animaux extraordinaires du ZooParc
Éléphant d'Afrique - Animaux extraordinaires du ZooParc
Beauval Nature

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Learn more about the species

  • Diet
  • Gestation period
    22 months
  • Litter size
    1 young
  • Habitat
    Forests, Savannahs

The difference between Asian elephants and African elephants

For a long time, scientists believed that there were only two species of elephant: the Asian elephant and the African elephant. The Asian elephant is smaller, has narrower ears, and a rounded back. But there are in fact three different species! The African forest elephant, which has tusks pointing towards the ground, has recently been differentiated from the African savanna elephant. The African savanna elephant is the species housed at Beauval. It is also the larger of the two African species.

Yet another record

It is not just the elephant’s weight and size that are record-breaking. It holds a record that is perhaps even more impressive! Do you know in which other area this extraordinary animal stands out? Its gestation period. Whereas the gestation period for small mammals, such as rats, can be counted in days, and in months for slightly larger animals, the gestation period of the elephant lasts for almost two years. The baby elephant spends 22 months in its mother’s womb before birth. This is the longest gestation period of any animal.

Why the big ears?

The African elephant is well known for its gigantic ears. Far from being a mere hearing aid, these two large auricles have a property that makes them essential to the species’ survival. Numerous blood vessels are spread throughout the elephant’s ears. This allows the elephant to regulate its body temperature, which - given the arid climate in which it lives - is essential.

Where can I see them in the park?

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Other species in the territory

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