I was at the zoo in Amersfoort Yesterday and learned a lot about various animals, but most of all about elephants because one of the zoo keepers came and explained some things about the elephants they have at the zoo and elephants in general.
This is a little bit of what the zoo keeper had to say.
We may all know that elephants live in herds, we’ve all seen Jungle Book. But those herds are without young male elephants. As male elephants grow older they have to move away from their herd when they get too big for their sisters and other smaller and older herd members. Basically they hit a kind of puberty and can’t control themselves.
They then spend a while roaming the wilderness looking for another herd to belong too. This way they can sort themselves out and learn to behave responsibly as they try to fit in with a new family.
In the zoo this is of course different so there the young males have their own separate enclosure until they get relocated to a different zoo. If they do end up picking fights the other elephants always have a way to get out, because the elephant area of the zoo is open planned, with definite routes that the ‘attacked’ elephant can take so it doesn’t get squashed against the walls and other elephants can step in and diffuse the situation.
Nature is a great place to learn about family life. I never knew.