Q:

Why do people hunt elephants?

A:

Quick Answer

People hunt elephants to get their valuable ivory tusks. The elephant tusks are used for decoration, jewelry and to create statues. Elephants use the tusks as potential weapons against predators, such as tigers and lions, and in battling other elephants.

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Full Answer

Africa is the most common destination for elephant hunters, with Congo topping the list of countries with the highest number of killed elephants. Poaching of elephants has been so severe that it has led them to be endangered. Hunting elephants is illegal in many countries, and there have been efforts to help curb this activity.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why are elephants so big?

    A:

    Elephants evolved to their current size over the course of tens of millions of years; this size adaptation is likely a survival mechanism because a full-sized, adult elephant faces very little threat from predators, though baby elephants are much more vulnerable to predation from big cats such as lions and wild dogs. There have been cases in which adult elephants have fallen victim to attack from big cats, but these cases are rare. The elephant is the largest known land animal, but scientists believe that this massive mammal evolved from a creature that is roughly the size of a small rodent.

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  • Q:

    How do elephants communicate?

    A:

    Elephants communicate primarily through vocal calls, though they also use other important methods. These include tactile behaviors, such as touching, as well as synchronized freezing. Elephants also communicate through the secretion of specific chemicals that other herd members can pick up through the elephant's advanced sense of smell.

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  • Q:

    What eats elephants?

    A:

    Tigers and lions occasionally eat elephants, though attacks are rare. Since the repercussions of a failed attack are fierce, the big cats tend to only prey on very weak and young elephants. Scavengers, such as hyenas, often feed on dead or dying elephants.

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  • Q:

    What do elephants look like?

    A:

    Elephants are gray in color and have a long trunk that has several uses, including breathing and feeding. They are the largest land mammals on Earth.

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