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Wildlife Wednesdays: Elephants Eat Their Fruits and Veggies, and a Whole Lot More! Find out on Elephant Appreciation Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on September 25th, 2013 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks


We know that lots of fruits and veggies are part of a healthy diet. Apparently, elephants know that too. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, an adult male elephant will eat 28 pounds of produce in one day–and that’s not all! He’ll also eat 7 bales of hay, 5 bundles of grass, 2-to-3 bundles of browse, and 15 pounds of grain. And as we try to drink 8 or more glasses of water each day, elephants will guzzle 25-50 gallons of water. It all adds up to about 400-600 pounds of food in a day, which is as much as an average person eats in an entire year.
Elephants Eat Their Fruits and Veggies, and a Whole Lot More!

Guests who visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom tomorrow (September 26) will learn lots of fun and informative facts about elephants during our Elephant Appreciation Day celebration, taking place at Rafiki’s Planet Watch.

In addition to learning what—and how much—an elephant eats, guests who stop by Rafiki’s Planet Watch can:

  • Test their skills at “eating like an elephant” using a replica of an elephant trunk.
  • Color an elephant mask that they can take home.
  • Learn about the elephants that make their home at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and talk with members of our elephant care team.
  • Discover how bee sounds are being used to help keep elephants away from crops.
  • Find out about elephant conservation efforts supported through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund

Elephants Eat Their Fruits and Veggies, and a Whole Lot More!

Did you know?

  • Every day, guests experiencing the Kilimanjaro Safaris and Wild Africa Trek can see members of the Disney’s Animal Kingdom elephant herd.
  • Jabali, who is two years old, is the youngest member of the herd. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is part of a breeding program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that is focused on sustaining the elephant population in North America.
  • Disney scientists study elephant communication—using audio-recording collars. Elephants make powerful, low-frequency “rumbles” that humans often cannot hear and can communicate over distances of several miles using these rumbles. Learn more at the Wildlife Tracking Center at Rafiki’s Planet Watch.

Disney scientists conduct hormone analyses, using specialized tests called immunoassays, to monitor the reproductive status of the female elephants before and during pregnancy. Guests can watch scientists perform these and other analyses in the Wildlife Tracking Center.

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

4 Comments 1 Reply

1

Rochelle on September 25th, 2013 at 10:58 am

I will always remember seeing Jabali his 3rd day out on the savanna. He hadn’t lost his newborn ‘fur’ yet. By saying Jabali “is part of a breeding program” do you mean he is a result of it or someday he will be part of it?

 

Jackie Ogden, Ph.D. on September 25th, 2013 at 2:35 pm

So glad you got to see Jabali when he first went out on the savanna! To answer your question, Jabali is both a result of the AZA breeding program, and, we hope, in the future will contribute to it.

2

Erika on September 25th, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Thank you for this post! How many elephants are there at Animal Kingdom? Is any one of them called Dumbo?

3

Patricia on September 25th, 2013 at 7:51 pm

I don’t know a lot about elephants to be honest. The zoo where I live does not have any. I do however feel really good supporting Disney because it seems to take EXCELLENT care of the elephants that live there in Florida.

They sure look like happy elephants to me!

4

Jackie Ogden, Ph.D. on September 26th, 2013 at 8:38 am

You are most welcome! We have eight elephants in the Disney’s Animal Kingdom herd, one of the largest in North America. There are none named Dumbo, but we do love our Disney Characters, especially one as cute as him!

4 Comments