Identifying elephants isn't difficult, but it requires using powers of observation and it takes a bit of practice. There are many different characteristics that you can use to identify an elephant: sex; body size; shape; length and configuration of the tusks; size and shape of the ears; ear venation patterns; notches, tears, holes in the ears. ElephantVoices has developed eight educational modules explaining how to recognize these characteristics, which is the basis for the unique databases we're populating and using in our current field projects in the Maasai Mara, Kenya, and Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique.
You should start by determining whether the elephant you are trying to identify is male or female. We'll hope you enjoy learning some more about elephants - good luck!
Our eight educational modules are linked below.
- How to sex African elephants
- How to use size to age African elephants
- How to use tusk characteristics to ID African elephants
- How to use ear notches and tears to ID African elephants
- How to use ear lobe size and shape to ID African elephants
- How to use the trunk and face to ID African elephants
- How to use body characteristics to ID African elephants
- How to use the tail to ID African elephants