Male elephants will shake their ears more when they are ready to mate than at other times, this allows them to spread their scent by a wider distance to attract potential female partners. Older males, 40 to 50 years old are the most likely to mate with females. The females are ready to reproduce around 14 years of age.
There is much aggression between males for the rights of the couple and therefore to reproduction, the younger can not compete with the strength of the older elephants, which is why they do not get to mate until they are much more mature. This is a fact, however, that tends to make it more difficult to increase the number of existing elephants.
Males rarely physically harm each other when they are fighting for the right to mate or reproduce. Most of the time the younger males flee from the older ones. There are opinions that this behavior is not out of fear but out of respect and admiration for the elderly.
However, there have been documented cases of male elephants practicing sexual activities among themselves due to their need to reproduce, but not being able to do so due to lack of females at their disposal. This is the reason why in most zoos they often have one male and one female or two females instead of two males.
Elephants have the longest record of time from conception until the offspring is born, this period is 22 months. They can weigh up to 260 pounds at birth, and these young elephants are extremely cute with their long ears and long tails. You may not realize it, but they are blind at birth.
They are well cared for within the herd of elephants. Your own mother, as well as the other females will make sure that the baby is well protected. Babies often follow their mothers when the flock is moving, to ensure that in many cases they wrap the mother's tail with their trunks.
Females who do not have elephant babies tend to the young as if they were their own. This happens so that mothers can feed themselves as they need to to produce enough milk for the young. A young elephant can drink up to 10 liters of this milk every day.
It is believed that elephant calves do not have the same high level of survival instincts as other animals, which is why they are so dependent on their mothers and the other females in the herd. They are quicker to learn new skills through observation, are praised when they do well and can be scolded when they do not follow the rules.
Mothers give milk to their children for about 4 years, although if they get pregnant in that period of time she will wean them earlier. So that the mothers can get enough food to create the milk, they nurse their young for part of the day and then other females of the herd watch the young. Although babies can begin to consume plants when they are about one year old, they need the nutritional value of milk to grow and thrive.