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Elephants: African Bush Elephant

© written by Tasha Guenther

Head food. African bush elephant, Loxodonta africana at Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa
Photographer: Derek Keats; License CC BY 2.0

Elephants are primarily split into two different types, the African elephant and the Asian elephant. African elephants, however, are the largest living land animals.

Due to poaching, the African elephant population is widely dwindling--poaching leaves some elephant populations in Africa endangered, while some populations (mainly in eastern and southern regions) are stable and expanding.

There are two sub-species of African elephants, the African bush elephant and the African forest elephant.

The African bush elephant also known as the savannah elephant (L. a. africana) is the largest of all elephant species. Males can weigh anywhere up to 16,500 pounds and its maximum measured shoulder height is up to 4 metres!

To differentiate the African bush elephant from other elephant species, it is important to remember that the African bush elephant is recognizable by its large outward-pointing tusks. Both males and females have tusks, making it very difficult to tell the sex of an elephant just by looking at it. Instead, scientists must observe an elephant's behaviour in order to tell whether it is a male or female!

The African bush elephant lives throughout the savannah regions of the African continent--in other words, it can be found in the grassy plains and woodlands of Africa, especially in the eastern and southern countries.