Learn About Elephants: Here's the Scoop on Elephants!

Elephants and Trees Part 1: Trees Provide More Than a Canopy For Elephants: Marula Trees

One of the best parts about being an African elephant is enjoying the succulent benefits of the marula tree. 

Named “The Elephant Tree,” (3) (1) for the herds’ dedication to making the trek each summer to savor the “sacred marula fruit” (3) at peak harvest, these special trees attract the elephants. Their remarkable olfactory systems, inherent in elephants, carries them along the way. 

And just as wild African elephants are rooted in Africa so are the marula trees. Although not for lack of trying, (3) marula trees cannot be grown anywhere else.

 

African elephants not only enjoy languishing under the canopy of a marula tree on a hot afternoon, they consume almost every part.  Elephants crunch on the leaves, the branches and the bark as well as partake of the sweet fruit.

Even humans, worldwide, can experience the wonder of the manula fruit. Amarula lets the elephants decide when the crops are deemed fit to harvest. “Once the elephants have raised their trunks in approval” (3) they are good to go!

“And like the elephants, the marula trees are protected under South African law”. (3)

The African marula tree (Sclerocarya birrea) (1) comes from the same family (Anacardiaceae) as the mango and the cashew. No wonder an elephant considers it such a delight!

 

 

 

Source (4)

 

One can often spot an elephant reaching high into the branches of a marula tree to shake down the fruit or using their great strength to knock the tree down, this giving the entire herd access to a well earned snack. 

And despite never seeming to get enough, elephants are incapable of becoming drunk on the fruit. The idea of a “drunk elephant” is just a myth. (2)  

 

ccflickr by Brannon riceci, elephant reaches for a snack from a marula tree

ccflickr by Adam ross, elephants really love marula fruit

cc flickr by duncan wallace, Elephant Herd Eating Marula Fruit from Marula Tree south africa, kruger national park

cc flickr by Angela&craigsphotos, African bull elephant next to a Marula Tree he had just felled, full copyright respected

cc wickimedia by Justina Panduleni, harvested marula fruit from Marula Tree

cc flickr by indiana107, Marula tree at sunset that elephants love

 

 

 

See next: Elephants and Trees Part 2: Trees Provide More Than a Canopy For Elephants: Baobab Trees

 

 

 

Images: cc flickr by indiana107, Marula tree (at sunset) that elephants love ( 5); by duncan wallace, Elephant Herd Eating Marula Fruit from Marula Tree south africa Kruger national park (6); by jaycee1, Baby elephant Eating leaves from Marula Tree kruger national park  (7); by Angela&craigsphotos  African bull elephant next to a Marula Tree he had just felled, full copyright respected (8); by Brannon riceci elephant reaches for a snack  from a marula tree (9); by Adam ross elephants really love marula fruit (10) & cc wikimedia by Justina Panduleni harvested marula fruit from Marula Tree (11)

 

 

Sources:

(1) https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=XTVx7iLlrok  Elephant Bull, Jabulani Sniffs Out Marula Fruit In Adine’s Pocket by Jabulani YT CH

(2) https://www.krugerpark.co.za/krugerpark-times-3-8-elephant-myth-22760.html

(3) https://amarula.com/en-za/our-story/

(4) https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Elephant+Bull+Pushing+Down+A+Massive+Tree.+Amazing.+Creative+Commons  CC video by Wild Africa “Elephant Bull Pushing Down A Massive Tree. Amazing.”

(5) https://www.flickr.com/photos/kav1965/5788974535/sizes/l/

(6) https://www.flickr.com/photos/africadunc/3716411636/sizes/l/

(7) https://www.flickr.com/photos/jayceen/6017846199/sizes/l/

(8) https://www.flickr.com/photos/22115324@N02/15743740641/sizes/c/

(9) https://www.flickr.com/photos/riceci/2819149614/sizes/z/

(10) https://www.flickr.com/photos/buckofive/564628411/sizes/c/   

(11) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Marula_fruits_gathered_to_be_prepared.jpg

 

 

 

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cc flickr by jaycee1, Baby elephant Eating leaves from Marula Tree, kruger national park

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