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8. About Elephants

005-8-about-elephants-7a135a494cc46585636c4823a0319580Elephants form deep family bonds, just like humans. Elephants live in closely-knit matriarchal herds, led by the oldest and largest female in the herd.

These elephant herds can range from between eight and 100 elephants in size. The herd’s matriarch will do anything to protect its members, as seen here.

7. Buffalo Down

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006-7-buffalo-down-43447e7c71106b6e431e3801f35ae25cOnce the buffalo had been gored and tossed to the ground, the mother elephant continued to prod at it aggressively. Nobody on the safari could guess why the buffalo picked the fight with the calf in the first place. She may have had just one tusk, but she was able to defend her young all the same.
6. Elephant Cognition

007-6-elephant-cognition-4e98acc97ba50ac85e26480708464c11Most ethologists believe that elephants are among the world’s most intelligent animals. Elephants show a variety of behaviors, including ones associated with memory, grief, learning, play, and compassion.

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Elephant matriarchs are tasked with making life or death decisions on behalf of their herds, such as when to leave an injured family member, when to leave a drought area, and where to go.

5. The Buffalo’s Fate

008-5-the-buffalo-s-fate-ecc97ce078e55515bac3a709e9077734“As you would imagine, his carcass was a meal for another animal or two,” said Maurer. The mother was just protecting her herd.

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There very well may have been something wrong with the buffalo, as it’s uncharacteristic for the animal to fight a creature much smaller and less threatening.

4. As For Buffaloes…

009-4-as-for-buffaloes-7080f04ba08248c72a8b1eca1cb98380The buffalo itself is a large and tough animal. Growing up to be 2,000 pounds, buffaloes are equipped with massive horns that can easily pierce flesh.

They’re still prey for several African species, like the lion. Pictured here, though, is an example of strength in numbers. This lion may have tried to pick a fight, but it’s outnumbered by the sheer size of the buffalo herd.

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