The African elephant, like the one saved by Staś and Nel, is not the only elephant species: their cousins are Indian elephants, and the long-extinct woolly mammoths. There are many features distinguishing African elephants from Indian ones: the former is the largest land animal and can grow even to 4m (13ft) in height, and may weigh up to 7.5 metric tons. Indian elephants are usually around 3m (10ft) tall and weigh up to 5 metric tons; they also have smaller ears and tusks, which nearly disappeared in the females.
African elephants live in the savannah and in the steppe, and Indian ones mostly in jungles. They all love to bathe and play in water, which they also drink a lot of, as Nel noticed watching King. It is estimated that an elephant may need as much as 200 litres (44 imperial gallons) of water a day.
Elephants live in herds composed of females and calves, while mature males live most of the time alone. There is a hierarchy in elephant families: individuals follow the female that leads the herd, and when conflicts arise, they usually solve them in a peaceful manner. Elephants are highly intelligent. Their submissiveness and susceptibility to training have made people use them for their purposes for centuries: in ancient times for battles, and later for labour and transport.
How did Staś and Nel tame the elephant?