Elephant family in Amboseli National Park, Kenya
© Ibrahim Suha Derbent/Getty Image
Protecting the gentle giants. World Elephant Day
These giants are the largest land animals on Earth, African bush elephants, which can reach 13 feet in shoulder height and weigh as much as 11 tons. They are one of three living species of elephant, alongside their smaller relatives, the African forest elephant and the Asian elephant. Their immense size is not the only incredible thing about them. Studies suggest that elephants can recognize themselves in the mirror and that these mammals display emotions such as grief when they lose family members. World Elephant Day—held on August 12—was set up to admire them but also to highlight the difficulties they face. Amboseli National Park in Kenya—where this photograph was taken—is one of the few remaining habitats where African elephant herds can still be found in large numbers.