The African (Bush) Elephant, Loxodonta africana, is the largest land mammal. It lives in grassy regions south of the Sahara Desert. They have life spans of 60 years or more. Healthy, full-grown elephants have no natural enemies other than humans.

Unlike the Asian elephant, the African elephant has a larger body, bigger ears, longer tusks and much slender legs. It has two finger-like extensions on the tip of its trunk, whereas the Asian elephant only has one.

Recently, the African elephant has been separated taxonomically into two separate species. The two species of African elephant are the African bush elephant, Loxodonta africana, and the African forest elephant, Loxodonta cyclotis.

Zoo Tycoon

The African Elephant is unlocked 9-12 in game months after opening the zoo. It lives in the savannah terrain, it prefers lots of dirt, sand, and water. Its favorite trees are Baobab Trees. African Elephants can sleep in the small and large elephant shelters. They like to play with swinging logs.


African elephants live in herds and only elephant shelters are large enough for elephants. African elephants need fresh water to drink from.


The native habitat of the elephant is the open savannah of central and southern Africa. In the wild, elephants occupy a wide geographic range, often traveling many miles in a single day. In captivity, elephants need relatively large spaces in which to live and move about. The more elephants, the more space they need. Elephants are generally found in regions containing wide swaths of tall grasses broken by the occasional stands of acacias and the large African baobab tree, which the elephants like to use for shade. Areas of dirt and sand near waterholes form cool mud holes for the elephants to wallow in, and the occasional large rock provides a perfect scratching post for removing dried mud.

Elephants are herbivores, eating various grasses, hay, and even trees. They eat frequently, which is not surprising, given their enormous size. Their long, flexible trunks allow them to reach down to pull up tall grasses as well as to reach up to pull down tasty branches inaccessible even to a giraffe. In captivity, they are fed a variety of foods, including hay, browse (e.g., acacia, corn stalks, bamboo, mulberry, and ficus), apples, bananas, carrots, yams, bran, and herbivore pellets.

Elephants are social animals. Although they are often found in groups of up to 25 individuals in the wild, keeping great numbers of elephants in a zoo setting would tax even the wealthiest of zoos. In captivity, groups of two to six individuals are more common. Elephants can quickly become upset when they don't have enough contact with others of their own kind. An angry or upset elephant will make its familiar loud trumpeting sound. Their highly social nature means that one angry elephant can quickly upset the rest of the herd.

Elephants are hardy animals that don't often get sick. When they do, their strong constitutions enable them to weather the illness a relatively long time before it becomes life-threatening. Elephants reproduce poorly in captivity.

As the largest land mammals in the world, elephants can afford to feel relatively safe in the wild, at least from other animals. In general, elephants only tolerate their own kind. While they have nothing to fear from even the largest predators, they still become very uneasy when placed in close proximity to these animals. Even non-predatory buffalo and rhinos can make elephants uncomfortable.

Zoo Tycoon 2

The African Elephant is available in Zoo Tycoon 2. In challenge mode, it becomes available for purchase after the zoo fame reaches 4 stars.


The African Elephant is a large animal that needs a large enclosure. It prefers the savannah biome. In addition, it is a swimmer that prefers an enclosure with lots of water. It will tolerate scrub biome, but only if there's a tar pit in the exhibit.


The African Elephant is an herbivore that eats hay, grass, and branches.


Elephants are very intelligent animals that enjoy stimulation from food and balls. They will carry around elephant logs, and paint pictures on an easel.


Elephants like the shade structure. This species, along with the Asian elephant, are the only species that uses the Elephant House as a form of shelter.


African Elephants are animals that prefer to be in herds. They are social creatures, and will often interact with other members of their species by stroking them with their trunks. When a calf is born, herd members will all take care of it. Males will sometimes act aggressively to each other and fight.

Elephant herds in Zoo Tycoon 2 are led by a male elephant. In reality, elephant herds consist primarily of female individuals, led by an alpha female known as the matriach.

Zoo Tycoon (Xbox)

The African Elephant is an adoptable animal in Zoo Tycoon (Xbox).


  • African Elephants are able to share an exhibit with Asian Elephants, but only if the savannah biome is used. African elephants will only tolerate the Asian elephants' biome of scrub if a tar pit is in the exhibit.
  • As they are two different species in two separate genera, African and Asian elephants cannot interbreed and produce fertile offspring. However, hybrids have occurred very rarely in history. The only known hybrid was Motty, born in 1978 at Chester Zoo, England.


In Real Life


Zoo Tycoon animals