An elephant’s trunk, also known as a proboscis, can be used to breathe, bathe, transport water to its mouth, and grasp objects for eating. As an adult, an elephant’s trunk is capable of lifting more than 700 pounds, thanks to an array of some 40,000 muscles. (For reference, humans have just over 600 muscles in our entire bodies.)
Video Credit to: Lucien Beaumont | Instagram account @lucienbeaumont
An elephant losing its trunk in the wild is a devastating event with very slim chances of survival. Their trunks are essentially multi-tools, essential for:
Eating and Drinking: Elephants need vast amounts of food and water daily, which they collect and consume exclusively with their trunks. Without it, reaching high branches, scooping water, or manipulating food becomes incredibly difficult, leading to starvation and dehydration.
Social Interaction: Elephants are highly social creatures and use their trunks for greetings, affection, and communication. Losing this ability can lead to isolation and exclusion from the herd, further reducing their chances of survival.
Defence: While size plays a role, elephants also use their trunks as weapons, trumpeting loudly and swatting predators. Without this defensive mechanism, they become more vulnerable to attacks.
Navigation and Communication: Trunks are sensitive tools used for smelling, touching, and exploring their environment. Losing this sensory input puts them at a disadvantage in navigating and understanding their surroundings.
A bathing bull elephant got a painful surprise when a 13-foot crocodile chomped down on his trunk at a South African game reserve.
American tourist Ashley Lewis, 31, snapped these amazing photos during her Dec. 26 trip to the Sabi Sands reserve of the reeling pachyderm rearing up on his hind legs with the croc latched onto his trunk, Barcroft Media reported.
We had been sitting in our truck on the riverbank. Suddenly, about 300 yards upstream we heard loud and frantic trumpeting from an older bull elephant
The elephant was bathing with his herd in the river when a crocodile lurking just below the surface sank its teeth into his trunk.
"The elephant reared up and down, taking the croc with him as if he was waving around a toy,” Lewis said. “I was in awe. It was hard to say anything other than, ‘This is insane.’”
The stubborn reptile loosened its grip only after the elephant slammed it to the ground, bashed it with his knee, and gouged it with his tusks, Lewis said.
The elephant then booked it out of the water, and is expected to make a full recovery, Barcroft Media reported. The fate of the crocodile is unknown, but reserve rangers believe it likely suffered serious injuries.
That is one of many situations that may lead to an Elephants lost their trunk
Another story is this one of the young Elephant spotted in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park by Privately guided Lucien Beaumont (Instagram: @lucienbeaumont). The elephant who lost its trunk, is the title of the video he shared on his account, watch it here
This little elephant calf is thought to have suffered a horrific attack from lions or hyenas in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.
Although it was still doing well being able to nurse from its mother, it is sure to face some serious challenges as it grows.
On Lucien post, a Lawyer and Wildlife photographer Andre Podbielski came out with an interesting comment about this matter,
"About 25 years ago we visited Hwange on a camping safari. We were literary the only visitors in the camp. With the permission of the camp manager we were allowed to camp at a waterhole not to far from the main camp accompanied by an armed ranger. What a wonderful experience. Early the next morning 5 adult elephant bulls approached the waterhole.
Much to our surprise one of them had no trunk. The ranger knew them and told us the wonderful story. As a young elephant it was attacked by lions, survived but lost his trunk. His mother and the herd cared for him and successfully brought him up . He eventually left the herd and joined a herd of four other bulls. We saw how the other bulls fed him , assisted him to drink by using their trunks to do so. A sighting I will never forget. 🐘❤️" Said Andre Podbielski