Funday Times

The Gathering is on….
The annual gathering of elephants is getting closer, with hundreds of elephants from various parts of the country converging in order to escape the drought that affects the north central part of Sri Lanka at this time of the year.

Here are some more fascinating facts about these gentle giants.

The Elephant's Enormous Ears

  • The elephant's ears detect sounds, close and afar.
  • Outstretched ears capture sound waves.
  • Flapping ears function as a cooling system.
  • The gentle breeze created by the continual flapping movement cools the veins and reduces body temperature.

The Elephant's Full-sized Feet

Elephants move silently across the earth on tip toes and well padded feet.

  • They amble at a slow, rhythmic pace.
  • They may achieve a brisk stride or even a moderate run.
  • Elephants can walk from 30 to 50 kilometres a day and achieve a speed of up to 30 kilometres per hour.

The Elephant's Tremendous Toe Nails

  • Most Sri Lankan elephants have 18 toe nails in total, some have 20.
  • Clean shiny toe nails are a sign of a healthy elephant.
  • Mahouts (elephant keepers) pay special attention to their elephants' nails.
  • Some elephants keep their toe nails clean by using another elephant as a platform and tend to their nails with their trunks.

The Elephant's Exquisite Eyes

  • The outer section of the elephant's eye is comparatively small.
  • The elephant's vision is limited to 25 metres.
  • Their short-sightedness improves in jungle areas and is well compensated by a highly acute sense of hearing and smell.

"Kindness, gentility, tears and sadness, Meditative states, old and wise, Glints of audacity, Smiles of conspiracy, All live deep within elephants eyes"

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