Tusks are actually replacement teeth that grow at the rate of 17cm per year and are composed mostly of dentine. Not all elephants grow tusks. The Asian male grows long tusks but the Asian female only grows tusks that are about 3″ long. Also not all Asian females grow tusks. Both African males and females grow long tusks however. The tusks are cleaned regularly and are sometimes filed down in order to protect the other elephants.
One of the main health concerns at the Endangered Ark Foundation is our elephants feet. Did you know elephants will walk very long distances in the wild in search of food, and the keratin (which is the protein that makes up their nails/hooves) will naturally wear down on their feet, as they walk around all day. At our facility, their nails grow rapidly. In the wild if an elephant's nails aren't maintenanced it can cause pain and problems walking. To solve that problem, EAF gives pedicures on a weekly basis and does a nail/hoove evaluation every single day.
The typical bath means that each elephant gets a full rinse with warm water, to wet the skin completely and wash off any mud, and then gets a thorough scrub with specially formulated elephant wash soap. Every part of the body is scrubbed with soap before being rinsed again. Almost immediately after each bath, the elephants seek mud or dirt with which to coat their skin. This is very natural elephant behavior. Dirt and mud help keep an elephant cool on hot summer days and, acting as an exfoliant, keeping dead skin from building up.
The EAF offers public tours of our facility on Fridays, Saturdays, and most Sundays. Call or book online today to take a tour of our facility and meet our elephants!
Get up close and personal with our elephants in a Private Encounter! Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend quality time with our herd in a personal setting.
Schedule a private visit for your school, student group, civic organization, business, youth program, or other special group to receive a special tour tailored to your group.
The EAF is partnering with Oklahoma Awesome Adventures to offer special day-long adventures with our elephants! Dates are limited, book today!
Visting from out of town?
Oklahoma Awesome Adventures is now offering cabin rentals right next door to the EAF, featuring breakfast with the elephants!
One of the more interesting grooming operations we perform on the elephants is the pedicure. Each toe of the foot has a nail attached to the skin and not directly to the toe bones. We use a small rasp file to clean and file the nail. This process is provided for each resident every 4 to 6 weeks or as often as it is needed. Elephants walk on their toes, although they appear to be flat-footed. The ‘heel’ of the foot is really a pad of fatty and elastic connective tissues.
Spa & Bath
Bath time with the elephants is a very important part of the day. Each one of our residents enjoys this luxury daily. A long handled broom is utilized to exfoliate the skin getting underneath the folds, around the eyes and tail. Ever seen an elephant look forward to its bath? They trumpet. They come to you, play with you.