EleFact Friday: We Want to Hear From You

Our EleFact Friday posts are a great way to share news, facts, and research from the elephant world with all of our supporters. We do our best to share what we find fascinating, but it’s equally as exciting when our supporters reach out to us about specific things they want to learn about or questions they have regarding elephant anatomy, physiology, or behavior. To start this new year, we want to hear from you! 

If there are any specific EleFacts that you’ve been curious about or topics that you want to expand on, we’d love to hear. There’s a chance it’s a topic we’ve covered before, which we’d be happy to share with you, but there’s also a possibility that there’s some uncovered ground and information out there that we haven’t written about. Now is your chance to pick our brains about elephant topics and we’ll do our best to address them in the upcoming year.

Photo of Guille and Bambi


  1. REPLY
    Julie says

    Feel free to disregard if this is too morbid. An incident happened at night with no keepers or cameras to record, but it is presumed that a bull elephant killed an adult female elephant years ago at the San Diego Zoo. I’m wondering if this is a behavior that is driven by captive frustration or if bull elephants sometimes kill adult females in the wild. I’m thinking it could happen by accident during musk due to the size difference, but I’m wondering if there is more to know here.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Thanks for the suggestion. We’ll definitely consider it.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      This is the kind of thing that happens when there are too many elephants in too small of a space , not addressing elements that they already knew were there.

  2. REPLY
    Alejandra Enquin says

    Quisiera saber si hay grandes posibilidades ,cuando Tamy este viviendo en el Santuario,de reconocimiento de Guillermina como su hija puntualmente o como la elefanta que habitaba a su lado en el ecoparque de Mendoza.Y tambien si ellas podran entrar en contacto de trompas con Tamy.Y en el caso de los elefantes machos toros salvajes como se relacionan con las hembras en las manadas de matriarcas,ya que viven separados,y a que edad se independizan los bebes y se separan de sus madres naturalmente.Muchas gracias.un gran abrazo

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      I’ll pass this question along

  3. REPLY
    Emily says

    Do elephants enjoy being touched, petted, or scratched?

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      I’ll add this to the list of suggestions

  4. REPLY
    Heather Parsons says

    Elephant feet. I know that you pay particular attention to the elephant’s feet, but are they ticklish?

    How do elephants combine Thermoregulation with other methods of cooling?

    How to maintain Summer / winter body condition and food intake (controlling obesity and mood swings)?

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      We’ve talked about feet before, but not in this way. I’ll pass the questions along!

  5. REPLY
    Barb says

    I would like to hear more about elephants “recognizing self”. Fascinating topic

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      That seems like a broad topic, but I’ll definitely add it to the list.

  6. REPLY
    Kimmey says

    Sara and Julie, regarding the bull elephant (Mabhulne (Mabu)) “supposedly” injuring or killing a cow (Umoya (Moya)) in 2011. I live in San Diego and am a member of the zoo. My understanding is there is no proof which Herd-mate(s) caused Moya’s injuries and subsequent death. Mabu did not get along with the other bull elephant there (Msholo), and they were always kept separated. I’ve watched/seen Mabu for 13-years. I’ve never seen him in person or Elephant Cams exhibiting any aggressive behavior towards cows or his babies. He has fathered 15-babies and currently has 3-cows pregnant. He is transported all over the place to “make babies”. Baby elephants draw big $$$$. I have seen a couple of the cows be aggressive, I won’t name names. Moya & Mabu’s daughter Kamile (Kami) was 4-years old at the time of her Mom’s death and was “adopted” by Swazi, the Matriarch of the Safari Park Herd.

  7. REPLY
    Charlotte Hansen says

    Elephant communication has been covered, I think, but I would like a refresher please. Thank you for doing these posts every day! We all love them! God bless you all at GSE for 2024!

  8. REPLY
    Carey says

    What actually happens to the brain of a captive zoo elephant with and without other elephants in exhibit. Stereotyping etc.

  9. REPLY
    Terry says

    I’d love to know if there is any research being done for elephants regarding stem cells; specifically the use of stem cells to rejuvenate and or heal foot issues for elephants. I also wonder about elephants trunks- do they carry a unique “energy signature” or identifiable markings like a fingerprint in humans?
    Globally, and I know this is out of the box thinking, and a much bigger ask…how, as a community of elephant lovers, can we contribute, impact, or significantly change the systemic acts of poaching and captivity? I understand there are so many layers to this…as supporters and community members of Global Sanctuary for Elephants, what can we, as a team, a unified whole, do to be heard as the voice of the elephants? I know this is deep. I know I’m asking a lot!!! Im hoping we can put our thoughts out to generate creative ideas as we are an extremely dedicated and supportive group of caring people.

  10. REPLY
    Tammy says

    Hello, I’ve got a question in regards to the Renaissance Festival in Minnesota. Elephant rides are being offered which makes me extremely sad but these poor elephants are under so much stress they sway back and forth fair goers asked the workers why they were doing this they were told the elephants were dancing which is a total lie! Now I tried to find out who owns these elephants and where they were traveling next but sadly had no luck. Any suggestions on how and where I could go to voice my concerns and help stop this torture and abuse? These elephants are not doing well at all they desperately need our help and I don’t know where to turn? Thank you, Tammy

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Usually tickets or posters tell the name of the company producing the events. But we recommend reaching out to a local animal group. Lots of time, collective power is effective.

Post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.