“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Greenville in Greenville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

African Elephant

Loxodonta africana

African Elephant Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott, February 8, 2009
1. African Elephant Marker
In Greenville!
Joy eats 2 bales of hay, 25 pounds of grain, 20 pounds of fruits and vegetables, with vitamin supplements added, and browse. Total food consumption is up to 200 pounds each day.

Joy, a female, weighs over 8,000 pounds and is just under 8 feet tall. Females are smaller than males, but not dainty.

It's impolite to ask a lady her age, however, Joy was born in 1970 and has been a popular resident of the Greenville Zoo since 1977.

Because "elephant years" are about the same as human years, you can expect to visit Joy for many years to come.

Each morning, Joy is bathed and her back and feet scrubbed thoroughly. During her morning bath, she is inspected carefully for anything out of the ordinary, her teeth are examined and the condition of each foot is reviewed closely.

An elephant's feet must be kept in very good condition at all times. They put a lot of weight on their feet and can't just sit back and put their feet up as we do. A cut or scrape or any cracking of the skin on the pads of their feet could easily result in lameness or worse, a life threatening
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infection. In addition to the daily inspection and cleaning of her feet, the pads of her feet are trimmed regularly as are her toenails. Yet, she does have her nails done regularly.

In the Wild!
Elephants eat just about any kind of plant material; grasses, flowers, fruit, and even known down trees for leaves and bark. They may consume up to 350 pounds of food a day, depending on the quality.

Males, the largest living land animals, can weigh over 12,000 pounds and reach a height of more than 12 feet.

Elephants live 60 to 70 years. A "natural" cause of death for old elephants is worn out teeth. They have four very large molars or grinding teeth. As they wear out, they are replaced, but only six times throughout their life. When the last molars wear out, they can no longer grind their food, ultimately starving.

Elephants live in herds of 6 to 12 animals, sometimes more. The herd is led by the matriarch, usually the oldest, most experienced female, and includes her daughters and their offspring, but no adult males. They mare at about 15 years of age. Pregnancy last 22 months; the single calf weights about 250 pounds at birth and nurses for two years. Mothers, grandmothers, sisters and aunts all help raise babies. Male calves leave the herd as they reach puberty.

Adult males live alone or in "breeder bands."
Map Detail Showing Habitats of Two Species image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott, February 8, 2009
2. Map Detail Showing Habitats of Two Species
When a male is reach to breed, he approaches the matriarch-led herd, signaling his intentions. When done, he rejoins the "bachelor band" or goes off on his own.

Are They Endangered?
There are two species of elephants, the African and the Asian, Elephas maximus. The Asian elephant is endangered, with only 30,000 to 40,000 remaining in the wild. African elephants are threatened, a step away from endangered, with about 600,000 remaining, down from 1.5 million in 1978. Their rapid decline was due to the loss of habitation and to the illegal killing of elephants for their ivory tusks. A world-wide ban on the trade in ivory has greatly reduced, but not eliminated the numbers killed for their tusks.

Habitat loss occurs when human population and activities increase and the elephant's territory is broken into smaller and smaller pieces, leaving them without enough space to live and eat.

When protected, as in a national park, elephants thrive and the herds grow. But, if the growth is not controlled, they will eat themselves out of house and home. In the past, excess animals were shot or died of starvation. Now, birth control is being viewed as a solution. Elephants in Kruger National Park, South Africa have been inoculated with a birth control vaccine. The Greenville Zoo was one of two zoos that participated in a program to
Joy and Ladybird<br>Elephant in the Greenville Zoo image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott, February 8, 2009
3. Joy and Ladybird
Elephant in the Greenville Zoo
test the vaccine. Now, her wild relatives may have a better life because of the research that involved Joy.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Animals. A significant historical year for this entry is 1970.
Location. 34° 50.8′ N, 82° 23.25′ W. Marker is in Greenville, South Carolina, in Greenville County. Marker can be reached from Cleveland Park Drive. Marker is located on the grounds of the Greenville Zoo. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 150 Cleveland Park Drive, Greenville SC 29601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cleveland Park (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Capers Bouton Memoral Fountain (about 400 feet away); Greenville County Vietnam Veterans Memorial (about 600 feet away); In Honor Of (about 700 feet away); Crenshaw's Battery (approx. ¼ mile away); Springfield Baptist Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Brockman Park (approx. 0.3 miles away); Greenville Memorial Auditorium (approx. half a mile away); Clayton "Peg Leg" Bates (approx. half a mile away); Frank Selvy (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Greenville.
Also see . . .
1. Welcome to the Greenville Zoo. Enjoy wildlife from around the world, including giraffes, orangutans, giant tortoises, lions and of course, everyone's favorites, Joy
Joy II African Elephant Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott, February 8, 2009
4. Joy II African Elephant Marker
Donated by
Burger King, Inc.
The Children of Greenville
Exhibit Renovation - 1989
Bi-Lo - Pepsi Cola of Greenville
WFBC Radio - Greenville News
Friends of the Zoo
Bowater - Dr. & Mrs Mitz Martin - Cubco
Piedmont Arthritis Clinic - Carolina Blouse
Mrs. Jane F. Hipp - Builder Marts of America
Mr. & Mrs. Steven R. Brandt - Ernst & Young
Southern Bell - Sertoma Club of Greenville
Mount Vernon Mills - Dr. & Mrs. Greg Johnson
RSI - Mrs. Gladys Stansell - Cely Construction
Orders Distributing - Mrs. Edward A. Ramsaur
and Ladybird, the elephants. (Submitted on May 28, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

2. Greenville Zoo. The Greenville Zoo is a small zoo in Greenville, South Carolina, United States. (Submitted on May 28, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

3. - Greenville Zoo. This zoo currently houses two elephants, Joni, a 32 year old female African elephant and long-time Greenville resident, and Ladybird, an African elephant who was separated from her two long-time companions at Lion Country Safari in Florida and shipped to Greenville in September 2006. (Submitted on May 28, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

4. African Elephant. African elephants are the species of elephants in the genus Loxodonta, one of the two existing genera in Elephantidae. (Submitted on May 28, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

5. Asian Elephant. The Asian or Asiatic Elephant (Elephas maximus), sometimes known by the name of one of its subspecies – the Indian Elephant, is one of the three living species of elephant, and the only living species of the genus Elephas. (Submitted on May 28, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on May 28, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 5,318 times since then and 115 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 28, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

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Dec. 9, 2023