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13 Reasons Why Elephants Aren't So Different From People

Besides the fact they're 13 feet tall and 15,000 lbs

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1. Elephants Are Afraid Of Bees / Via

Despite the immense size difference, elephants are in fact terrified of bees. Though elephants are not intimidated by many animals, African bees can sting them around their eyes or inside of their trunks and can even pierce the skin of baby elephants.

2. Elephants Can Recognize Themselves In A Mirror

Smithsonian / Via

Very few creatures have the self-recognition that humans and elephants have to recognize their own reflection. An elephant can see itself in the reflection of a water hole or a mirror and actually know that they're seeing themselves. Who knows, maybe if we gave elephants phones they would even take selfies! (Their trunks would make natural selfie sticks)

3. Elephants Hug / Via

Who doesn't love a good hug? When an elephant is angry or upset, another elephant will hug them by putting their trunk around their distressed comrade. They also will hug to say hello to a friend they haven't seen in a while. Mother elephants frequently hug their children, something that pretty much everyone can relate to.

4. Elephants Can Get Sunburned / Via

Elephants actually throw sand and mud on themselves to protect their skin from the sun. The thick skin of the elephants is very sensitive to heat, and their thin ears are actually an evolutionary feature that helps them regulate their body temperature. During the hottest part of the day, they generally stay in the shade to avoid burning and overheating.

5. Elephants Have Greeting Ceremonies For Returning Friends and Families / Via

When an elephant returns to its herd after a long time away, the herds have been known to have greeting ceremonies. They stomp, hug, and flap their ears in excitement. They also will grumble and "trumpet", making loud noises as part of the ceremony. Trumpeting can be heard up to 6 miles away and can last for several minutes. Kind of sounds like your family Christmas party, right?

6. Elephants Have 22 Month Gestation Periods / Via

You think 9 months is hell? Try being pregnant for 22 MONTHS! And for the men, try having a pregnant wife for 22 MONTHS! And at the end of it all, their children generally weigh about 260 pounds at birth. So future mothers, just remember, it could be a heck of a lot worse.

7. Family Comes First / Via

A female elephant will never leave her family unless she is killed or captured. Elephants travel in herds and the females will stay in the same herds for their entire lives.

And the younger elephants never say "Mom you're smothering me!"

8. Elephants Have A Sense Of Humor / Via

Elephants love to cleverly play tricks on each other when playing. They'll play keep away with each other and at zoos have even been seen playfully taking people's hats and hiding them.

9. Elephant Women Stick Together / Via

Elephant herds are matriarchal, usually led by the oldest female in the group. The women of a family always stick together. Mothers, daughters, aunts, and sisters are almost inseparable (probably have a lot of gossip about the male elephants). Male elephants are a little more independent and are more likely to leave the herd for extended periods of time, eventually to set out on their own around the age of 14.

Hillary Clinton would certainly be an advocate of adopting the elephant's matriarchal system!

10. Elephants Mourn And Bury Their Dead / Via

Elephants have been known to mourn and bury their lost loved ones. There is footage of elephants even shedding tears as they bury their dead and it can take as long as 3 days for an elephant to leave the side of a loved one who has passed. If a mother elephant loses a child, she will always at some point return to the spot where her child is buried to mourn, sometimes years after the death.

When Lawrence Anthony, "The Elephant Whisperer", who lived among the elephants for a time, passed away, elephants came to his house and mourned for a day and a half. No one knows how they knew he had passed, but 2 herds who had not visited for over a year arrived and grieved outside of his home.

As humans, it is often hard to believe that other creatures are as capable of love as we are. The way that elephants mourn and love each other has to make you believe that there is some greater purpose to their lives than simply surviving.

11. Elephants Are Vegetarian / Via

They may not frequent Kale smoothie shops, but Elephants can fit in with the dining scene in California, living a strictly vegetarian lifestyle. The only difference is that elephants eat about 200-600 pounds of food each day.

12. Elephants Have GPS / Via

The elephant GPS isn't on their iPhone (their feet are a little big for texting), but it is in their heads. Elephants form cognitive maps and can remember how to get to very specific sites. Elephants will visit the burial sites of their loved ones years after they've passed to return and mourn.

13. Elephants Are Sympathetic Towards Other Animals / Via

There have been stories of Elephants befriending and protecting abandoned animals. Elephants are sympathetic towards humans and many have befriended human beings. There have even been claims of elephants even burying humans who had died.

They say a dog is "Man's best friend". Looks like we've got some competition!

Let's Save The Elephants!

Elephants are astounding and intelligent creatures. Despite their imposing size, they are very peaceful animals who have an unbelievable capacity for love.

The sad truth is that close to 100 elephants are killed every day for their ivory. This corrupt trade practice costs the lives of thousands of elephants every year is not used for sustenance of any means, as only the tusks of elephants are used and sold by poachers.

So get involved and help to save the elephants. When you look at all the warring that we have within our species, who knows, maybe we could learn a thing or two from these majestic creatures.

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