This Mother’s Day we shine a light on elephants!

Elephant mothers are notoriously some of the best mothers on earth! What makes them so? We take a look at some of the reasons that make elephants great mothers and how this is greatly impacted upon when living in captivity. 

  • Elephants are pregnant for nearly 2 years!
  • Calves feed from their mothers for a very long time! Baby elephants can feed independently by the age of 2 but will carry on suckling until between 5 – 10 years!!
  • Calves can stand within minutes of birth, with a little help from their family.
  • Elephants give brith to one calf at a time but have been known to have twins.
  • Elephant mothers are fiercely nurturing and protective. Elephants teach their babies everything from how to stand, swim, how to find food, and how to protect themselves. 
  • Elephants live in very complex social matriarchal groups and all help to raise their young calves and females stay with their mothers for life!
  • Baby elephants are one of the biggest in the natural world and can weigh around 200lbs and stand around 3ft tall!
  • Elephants never forget! There are many reports of elephants being separated from their families for many reasons. Those few that have been reunited have remembered each other, even years later!

It is clear with all that is known about elephants now, that they cannot have even their most basic needs met in captivity! Elephants cannot and are not kept in their social groups in zoos. This is one of the most important instincts that they have, family. They are often separated, divided and split up into different zoos across the globe.

The psychological and physiological stress put on these incredible animals in captivity drives them crazy. It even has an effect on the reproductive abilities of captive elephants, with many reports that captive female elephants have low fertility rates and are unable to conceive. Infant mortality rates are also high in captivity. There has still yet to be an elephant returned to the wild from a zoo. 

So why are elephants in zoos? Keeping them captive for conservation reasons is increasingly becoming an empty excuse!

It is time to end the captivity of elephants. 

You can help elephants today:

  • Join us as a freedom champion and join the fight against animals in captivity 
  • Adopt an elephant with us
  • Send an ecard to your mum or the mother figure in your life
  • Hold a demonstration at your local zoo that holds elephant’s captive
  • Order campaign materials from our shop and help spread the word of the misery these animals and all animals in captivity are living
  • Join our Zoo Awareness Weekend plans