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Habitat

African elephants are found widely in sub-Saharan African savannah grassland and forest.

Wild Diet

Grass, tree foliage, bark, herbs, leaves, shoots, twigs, roots, fruit from many plants, as well as cultivated crops on occasion.

Behaviour

Elephants are social animals, living in herds of breeding groups made up of females and young. Males which live alone or in small groups may associate with the females when feeding as well as breeding. Elephants roam around in search of food, consuming up to 200 kg of plant material a day. They rest in the midday heat and have one or two periods of rest at night.

Breeding

Breeding occurs at any time of the year and females on heat may mate with more than one male. The female will clear a spot for birth and is helped by other females. The gestation period is 22 months after which usually one youngster is born. The calf is suckled for two years.

Threats

Habitat destruction due to changes in land use is the primary threat since the ivory trade has reduced but not eliminated.

Conservation

The ivory trade was banned in 1989 but since 1997, limited trade has been allowed in Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe and more recently, in South Africa. In some other African countries limited sport hunting is permitted, with the proceeds being used to fund community-based conservation programmes. There is a European Endangered species Programme (EEP) for the African elephant..

How do I adopt an elephant?

First choose the adoption package you wish to purchase, see below, and then make your animal selection.

Adoptions apply to the species rather than individual animals. This is because our animals may move to other zoos as part of breeding programmes.

Adopt a cheetah

Adoption Pack - £30

  • An adopter’s certificate
  • A fact sheet about your chosen animal
  • Your name on an adopters plaque displayed in the Zoo for 12 months
  • A thank you letter
  • A photograph of your chosen animal

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Adopt a gorilla

Junior Adoption Gift Box - £55

Includes all items within the adoption pack plus:

  • A soft toy of your chosen animal
  • One junior entrance ticket to Paignton Zoo
  • All packed in a presentation box

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adopt a giraffe

Adult Adoption Gift Box - £60

Includes all items within the adoption pack plus:

  • A Paignton Zoo mug
  • One adult entrance ticket to Paignton Zoo
  • All packed in a presentation box

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Adopt a rhino

Glass Adoption Gift Box - £75

Includes all items within the adoption pack plus:

  • A glass rhino specially created by Teign Valley Glass
  • One adult entrance ticket to Paignton Zoo
  • All packaged in a presentation box

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