Many people travel as a way of seeing stunning wildlife in its natural habitat – and elephants are certainly a popular species to spot on safari. They’re also fascinating creatures. In recognition of World Elephant Day, the expert team at Flight Centre share their five top elephant facts:
- They eat 200kg of food a day
Elephants are very hungry and eat 200kg of food every day. They spend most of their day chowing down on plant-based delicacies, eating for around 18 to 20 hours, and will happily swallow an entire bunch of bananas or a quarter of prickly pineapple.
- They like to bath
It is easy to assume that, given their size and wrinkles, elephants can get pretty dirty. They often splash around in mud baths and enjoy floating around in cool water and, in most elephant sanctuaries, they love nothing more than being scrubbed behind the ears and hosed down.
- They are huge
This may seem like an obvious one but many people underestimate the size of elephants. Until you see an elephant up close, standing just inches from you, it is hard to fathom just how large they are. At around 11ft tall and weighing about 6,000kg, they could easily seem intimidating if it wasn’t for their gentle, friendly nature.
- Their skin is an inch thick
The skin on their backs is remarkably hairy and coarse, yet behind the ears, it is paper thin and soft. They also don’t have any sweat glands, so they keep themselves cool using their trunks, as well as by capturing water in their wrinkles when they bathe, which evaporates over time. Unlike us, elephants have hair to keep them cool and these sparse hairs transfer heat away from their bodies, so they don’t get too hot beneath the blazing sun.
- They use their trunks for pretty much everything
Eating, drinking, breathing, and even snorkelling – it’s fascinating to watch an elephant use its trunk. Their sense of smell is estimated to be four times as strong as that of a bloodhound and they can sniff out water from around three miles away. From trumpeting appreciation to searching out a single grain of rice on the floor, picking up a heavy log and showing affection for one another, the elephant trunk is easily one of the most versatile features on the planet. They even use it to apply mud as a sunscreen!
Tempted by a holiday to see elephants in the wild? Flight Centre offers a trip to an Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, or why not try a tour around Bangkok, Phuket and Ko Phi Phi. For further information visit www.flightcentre.co.uk, call 0800 856 1464 or visit your nearest Flight Centre store.
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Melissa Hobson/Natalie Garland/James Brooke.
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8927
About the Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG)
The Flight Centre Travel Group (fctgl.com) is one of the world’s largest travel companies with over 18,000 staff and 2500 stores across its leisure, corporate and wholesale businesses. The company’s turnover in 2014/2015 financial year was £9 billion. After starting with one shop 30 years ago, FCTG has enjoyed remarkable growth and is one of the top 100 publicly listed companies on the Australian Securities Exchange.
All specialist brands under the FCTG Corporate banner offer 24/7 support and the benefits of a blended offline/online solution; global negotiation strength and unique and superior business travel products.
About Flight Centre
The team at Flight Centre are experts when it comes to travel and are committed to providing customers with a great experience. The company’s success comes down to its people, experienced Travel Experts who are passionate about finding their customers the holiday they want, for the price they want.
Since establishing the first Flight Centre store in 1995, the business has grown its team of Travel Experts to include over 80 stores within the United Kingdom, with new stores opening regularly. Worldwide, Flight Centre has an amazing 2,500 stores across the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, United States, Canada and more, making Flight Centre one of the largest and most successful independent travel retailers in the world. With its global reach and close relationships with the world’s best travel providers, the company is able to provide competitive travel deals.
The Flight Centre team can organise anything from flights to holidays, hotels, car hire, tours, travel insurance, visas and more. They also have dedicated First and Business Class flight teams and Business Travel teams to help with any specialised travel needs.