African Elephant, Etosha National Park, Namibia
The African elephant is the world’s largest land mammal recognized by its highly dexterous trunk, long curved tusks, and massive ears. Elephants use their trunk for smelling, breathing, detecting vibrations, caressing their young, sucking up water, and grasping objects. Elephants have a 22-month gestation period. When the calf is born, aunts, sisters, and cousins all help care for the newborn. Poaching and urban sprawl pose a massive threat to their survival. As such, the African elephant is classified as a vulnerable species.
Etosha National Park is one of the largest wildlife parks in Africa and absolutely unique. Etosha means 'place of mirrors', and derives its name from a saltpan of 5000 km2. This former lake is now an endless white, dusty plain with a few water sources, which attracting animals. The very rare times that there is water in the pan is caused by rains. Usually the water dries quickly; the degree of evaporation is extremely high.
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