Red Dust elephants

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red dust elephant in tsavo east
Red dust elephants are big five wildlife animals in Tsavo East National Park
  1. Story of big five wildlife
  2. Physical appearance of a red dust elephants
  3. Why are the Tsavo Elephants red in colour
  4. Gestation period of a red dust elephant
  5. When do red dust elephants reach maturity
  6. Why are red dust elephants in danger
  7. Who are conserving the red dust elephants
  8. Importance of Red dust elephants in Tsavo National park
  9. Book a safari : See the Red dust elephants

Story of big five wildlife wildlife

One day in Africa the big five wildlife animals were on heat on the same day, the red dust elephant, the buffalo, the lioness, the leopard and the rhino. After one hundred and ten and days the leopard gave birth to three cubs, five days later the lioness gave birth to four cubs, After two hundred and twenty days the buffalo birth to a calf, after two hundred and ten days after the buffalo has given birth the rhino gave birth to a beautiful calf. The lioness, leopard, buffalo and rhino started to mock the elephant. The leopard said “I have three cubs and can climb trees, where is your calf?”, the lioness said “I have four cubs,one will soon grown and become a king of the jungle. The buffalo Said “My calf can ran faster than you”, The rhinoceros said “Soon we will be numerous than you”. The elephants looked at them and said ” When my calf is born everyone will come to see my babe, because he is gonna be bigger than all your babies. ” African red dust elephants are the African Savannah elephants, are the largest elephants in the world. The red dust elephants are found in Kenya Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park.  

Why are the Tsavo elephants red in colour

Tsavo National Parks is a semi arid national park, most of the time the national park is very day, in fact long time ago it was called Taru Desert meaning a dry land with wild animals. The soil in the national park is red in colour, during the dry season between January to March and July to October the elephants will spread red soil on their skin using their trunks. The reason they spread red soil is because they want to keep parasites like tsetse flies away from their body and also to cool their bodies. During the rain seasons between late March and July they will spread red mad on their skin when they are in the rivers or water holes, this make this elephants to have a red coulor. This is why they are called red dust elephants.

Physical appearance of a red dust elephant

A bull red elephant can weight 6,300 kilograms a cow can weight 3,600 kilograms, the trunk of an elephant is used for smelling, holding, drinking water, lifting, sound production, the trunk can expand and contract and can move in any direction.  Red dust elephants have a very poor eyesight during the day; red dust elephants can smell objects at very far distances, they can smell water from a distance of 12 miles (19 KM), In most cases you will see them very busy at night. However during the day in Tsavo East national park you will see them at the water holes, rivers beds and sometimes under thick bushes. When they have fully grown red dust elephant  can drinks about 210 liters of water per day. Red dust elephants love to care their skin, they spread red dust or red soil on their skin. that is the reason they are red hence their name the red dust elephants.

A red dust elephant in a water hole

Gestation period of a red dust elephant

The gestation period of red elephant takes 22 months, when the calf is born other red elephants form circle as sign of love, they welcome the new member of their family. The cow is very defensive, she will be very aggressive most of the time, this is to protect her calf from predators.

An elephant with her calf

Lions are very notorious when it comes to hunting, if lions found a stray calf of a red elephant they will kill and eat the calf of a red dust elephants.  

When do red dust elephants reach maturity?

The elephants reach maturity when they are fifteen years but will keep growing until they are twenty years.   Bulls will leave the family at fifteen years of age but the full will continue to live in the same family, at 15 years the bull don’t engage in mating until they reach twenty years.  The bulls leave the family because they do not want to mate with their siblings, however if they reach maturity while they as still in the same family, siblings will mate.

  An elephant that has just given birth is the most dangerous one, because she is protecting the calf from predators.  An elephant cannot attack another mammal when the other animal is in its shelter.That is why in the villages around Tsavo National park you find that elephants don’t attack people who are in their round houses made of mud, but can attack them if they find them outside the houses. If it happens a red elephants has killed a human being , it will pull down heavy trees and cover the corpse. If Africa if elephants do something like this people will say, the elephant has performed a burring ceremony just what human beings do.

Why are red dust elephants in danger :Crush Ivory
Joely Fisher, actress and IFAW Ambassador, poses with Bryan Arroyo, Assistant Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service International Affairs program, at the U.S. Ivory Crush

There is evidence in the holy bible that ivory was used in decorating palaces, In the days of King Solomon 1 Kings 10:18 “Moreover the king made great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold”, this scriptures clearly tells us that ivory which comes from elephants was used for decorating the palace furniture . Today many people driven by the emotion of power and fame would like to have items in their homes furnished with ivory. Africans had not been using ivory for decoration until civilization came to Africa. Poaching of wildlife is practiced in Africa but the market is in Asia. Kenya government and other development partners are against poaching.

Who are conserving the red dust elephants in Tsavo National Park

Shedrick wildlife trust has been taking care for the orphaned elephants since 1977. The Kenya government on the other hand has been busy protecting red dust elephants and and other wildlife through the Kenya wildlife service. Kenya government has burned tonnes of ivory twice in In the Nairobi National Park, a total of 11 tones were burned at the Ivory burning site. This has increased the population of elephants in Kenya, Today there are about 34,000 elephants in Kenya from 16,000 in 1990.

Ivory burning monument in Nairobi national park Kenya
Importance of red dust elephants
Beetles use red dust elephant drooping to lay their eggs

Red dust elephants plays a very important role in the ecosystem they live in. Because they are very intelligent wildlife animals, they will use their trunk during the dry season to dig for water. This is a not only important to the elephants but also to other wildlife animals who will depend on the water.

Only half of what they eat is digested, this means that their droppings have very high nutritional value to plants in the ecosystem. Most insects like the beetles highly depend on the droppings for food.

Because only half of what they eat is digested, the elephants helps in food dispersal , this helps in balancing the ecosystem.

A birds eating undigested seeds from red dust elephants dung

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Tourist visiting a conservation park in Kenya

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