Friday, July 16, 2010

Elephants Foraging for Important Natural Minerals

In the beginning of July our volunteers were able to observe the elephants stopping to look for minerals on a cliff face. While on a long walk with the elephant herd, they stopped for a significant amount of time at the cliff in the photo below.

Like most animals, wild elephants need natural sources of salts and minerals to survive. Wild elephants will return to the same salt licks in the forest. This is a great step to see the elephants in our program displaying the very same healthy wild behaviour!

After sniffing all over the cliff face the elephants then actually spent some time rubbing at the rock with their trunks and foreheads. Their trunk tips were searching the rocks, making a suction cup sound while looking for minerals. They also sniffed a lot in the sand and sediment under the cliff face, lifting a lot into the air and dusting themselves as well as clearing ingesting a lot of the material.

We've noted this location and plan to return on future expeditions into the forest.