Learning to drink water is a long, complex process for a baby elephant Associated Press
A herd of wild elephants play in the Deeparbil wetland, a wildlife sanctuary, in Deeparbil, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) west of Gauhati, India, Thursday, May 3, 2007. At least thirty wild elephants and calfs from the nearby Garbhanga reserve forests came down to Deeparbil to cool themselves off in the water. (AP Photo/ Anupam Nath)

An elephant calf is able to stand and walk within a few hours of birth.

But another essential life skill — drinking water — doesn’t come so easily.

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Elephants use their trunks to siphon water. However, a trunk is a complex tool — one it can take baby elephants almost an entire year to understand. Until then, they bend down to the water and use their mouths to drink, which leaves them vulnerable.

Once an elephant figures out how to use its trunk, it can siphon up to 10 gallons of water a minute.

Beth Sawicki About the author:
Beth Sawicki is a content editor at Rare. Email her at [email protected].
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