As we all know, elephants are generally family-oriented and possess certain characteristics that are well-known.
Recent studies have brought to light certain characteristics of elephants, not previously known, proving, in no uncertain terms, that this is an animal that stands aloof from other species of animals, as far as intelligence and sensitivity are concerned.
For instance, bull elephants bond with other bull elephants in a friendship that endures forever. Studies have also shown that younger males associate with older males from whom they learn social behaviors. Male elephants, reputed to be loners, are observed as having, not only one buddy but several.
There is always a dominant bull in the hierarchy, together with his entourage, while maintaining his dominance persistently by strictly demonstrating his authority over low-ranking elephants, while reserving for himself certain resources, such as water, food and mates.
Elephants have their own culture, steeped in ritual, and seem to possess a sixth sense as far as being able to hear other elephants far beyond the range of their own group, by using their feet and trunk to sense rumbles miles away from their location, and are able to recognize one another through vibrations.
No low-ranking elephant would dare attempt to be in the presence of a dominant, high-ranking elephant. Among female elephants or cows, gestation lasts 22 months. Fertility begins at the end of the rainy season, allowing them to give birth in the middle of another rainy season when food is abundantly available.
When two young bulls come in contact with their trunks extended, the gesture could signify a friendly greeting or an imminent clash. Another prominent characteristic of elephants is the fact that they never forget. In countries, such as Indonesia, Thailand, India and Burma, elephants are trained to bond with their trainers, known as mahouts, just as they do with one another. Mahouts are always cautious about their treatment of elephants, and are particularly gentle and kind to them; and by so doing, succeed in getting the elephants to confide in them.
Considering their strength and stamina, elephants possess a great deal of self-control and will not cross far beyond their sanctuaries, except under certain circumstances. One group of elephants would refrain from intimidating another group and pose no threat to humans if they are left alone.
Elephants can live together for as long as seventy years until death. Their service to humans is well-chronicled and remain uninterrupted, as they continue to demonstrate their usefulness, intelligence and docility.