Nature’s gardeners? An elephant recently knocked down a massive tree 4km from the Crocodile Bridge in the Kruger National Park.
After the wildlife app, Latest Sightings shared the video on its Facebook page, it went on to clock in over 130 000 views as of 14 October 2021.
Upon seeing the footage, many social media users wondered why elephants knock down trees. According to the blog, 4elephants, these massive animals tend to knock down trees to consume the leaves and bark from the trees. Since they are so large, they can stomp on the smallest trees or use their trunks to bring trees down.
“Elephants change their eating habits during different seasons and in drier times will more often push over large trees to reach the nutrient leaves and will consume the roots as well,” Latest Sightings explain. “Not only do the fallen trees provide food for others, but it also creates seedbeds for grasses.”
By doing this, researchers found that elephants are helping to develop biodiversity.
Elephants don’t just knock down the first tree that comes into their sight. Researchers have discovered that elephants tend to knock down trees where the soil is fertile, and water is available. By doing this, they’re helping seeds disperse and new trees to grow. They choose fertile areas where new trees can flourish.
These creatures are always travelling around through forests and savannas to find their next meals or water. With all that travelling, they’re spreading seeds through their dung along the way. All those tree seeds that they consume in one location get transported into another where they can flourish. The elephant ecosystem is helping maintain biodiversity throughout their habitats.