Elephant Facts

elephant facts

Learn elephant facts from Edwin, an elephant keeper in Kenya. You’ll discover how elephant keepers handle baby elephants who are sad and how they make sure the elephants know they are loved.

How much do baby elephants weigh when they are born?

How often to do they eat?

What do they eat?

Why do they suck their trunks?

How do baby elephants get separated from their moms?

Discover these elephant facts from a trusted source and learn why Edwin loves his job!



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Hi! I’m Edwin. When I was a little boy, I was in the Compassion program. I lived in a small village in Kenya, but now I live in the big city of Nairobi. I am the head elephant keeper at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. It’s a place where orphaned elephants are cared for.

At the Wildlife Trust, Kenyans call us when they find an orphaned elephant. An orphaned elephant has lost its mother. Sometimes people kill elephant mothers to take their ivory tusks, and sometimes a flood or drought separates baby elephants from their mothers.

Just like human babies, elephant calves depend on their mothers to care for them. The mama elephants protect them, feed them, keep them warm, and give them love. So when baby elephants are orphaned, elephant keepers become their family.

When people are sad and hopeless, they need God and their friends and family to come around them and remind them to keep going, too. That’s what Compassion did for me. The workers helped take care of me when I was young. And now that’s one of my most important jobs with the baby elephants. Have you ever heard that an elephant never forgets? That’s true! Many orphans at Sheldrick are sad because they remember when their mothers died. Some elephants even die from a broken heart.

That’s why the elephant keepers stay with the sad baby elephants 24 hours a day. We make sure they travel together as a group, and we sleep with them so they’re never alone. We hug them and speak kindly to them.

I always remind the elephants that I believe in them, just as people at my Compassion center believed in me. I tell them, “Don’t give up. Keep fighting. You can make it!” When you treasure people or animals, they can tell that you love them, and it will help them grow strong!

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Photos by Silas Irungu

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The orphaned elephants like their keepers and give them hugs with their trunks! Elephants are very social. They love to play with their friends and family, just like we do.

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David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has created a special elephant formula to nourish the babies.

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An elephant keeper feeds one of the orphaned elephants. Elephant calves weigh 170-250 pounds when they are born and need to eat every three hours.

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The orphaned baby elephants get cold, just like human babies. Sometimes they need blankets to stay warm. Baby elephants also suck their trunks for comfort, just like some human babies suck their thumbs!