Standing more than eleven feet at the shoulder and weighing over seven tons, the African elephant is the world largest land mammal. Elephant move through the dense brush of the bushveld very quietly, but with amazing speed for his size, his dark grey skin providing an excellent camouflage.
Elephant have relatively poor eyesight, good hearing and an exceptional sense of smell. Their lifespan is usually between 50 and 70 years. This animal receives 6 sets of molars in his life, the last set of teeth come out at about 47 years and sadly when these teeth wear out the elephant will slowly starve.
A destructive feeder, the elephant prefers to eat grass, consuming about 500 pounds every day. Being social animals, elephants are found in herds consisting of cows, calves and adolescents. Bulls live either in small bachelor herds or they are found on their own. When cows have calves with them they are extremely aggressive. Cows without tusks are also known to be aggressive.
Elephants are hunted on foot and the stalk can cover many miles, so this is a hunt for the fit hunter. While the .375 calibre rifle is the minimum legal weapon, for your placement shot with this weapon there is no room for error. It’s best to hunt this animal with the largest rifle you have, with the 40 or 50 calibre rifles with 400 to 500 grain solid bullets being very good choices. Most elephants are taken at between 20 and 30 yards, 50 yards being a long shot.
Although the general consensus is that elephant are an endangered species, it is a fact that in many Southern African countries, elephant are being culled to keep their numbers in balance.