African Elephants

“Ella Phun”” Elephant Environmental Enrichment Device (EED):

Location: ZooTampa at Lowry Park, Tampa, FL

March 10, 2019 Some photos of Ella Phun Elephant Environmental Device packed up and ready for the trip to ZooTampa

Spring 2019: Here is a short video showing a test of the Elephant Enrichment Device (EED) “Ella Phun” We needed to make sure the water feature and apple dispenser worked before we delivered it to ZooTampa.

The Elephant EED dispenses apples, or other similarly round food, for the elephants. The “Ella Phun” uses remote controls. One of the controls is used by the caretakers to reward good behavior and add fun to the elephants’ day by supplying surprise treats. This EED also sprays water for a refreshing interaction.

Here is a short video showing how “Ella Phun: works. We were testing it in our driveway before delivery to ZooTampa. Thank you Peter, for editing the video, thank you Kristin for naming the EED.

The other remote is motion activated. This gives the elephant the ability to provide its own enrichment. The motion detecting remote can be set up to 200 yards from the dispensing machine, giving the elephants the ability to get their own treats or water spray. There are two different patterned signs that signify either apples or water spray. The elephants can learn which sign/pattern to choose. We chose waves/”W” for water and a round design with an apple. We chose the color purple as a thank you to our logo designer, Kristin.

Elephant Facts:

Elephants are considered one of the most intelligent of all land animals. They are gentle animals whose intelligence is similar to apes and chimpanzees.  They have the largest brain of any mammal. Elephants possess a highly developed system of communication through sounds. They produce a broad range of sounds from very low frequency to soft rumbles, trumpets, snorts, roars, and even growls.  

The average lifespan of an elephant is 50 to 70 years. Both male and female elephants possess tusks, which are modified incisor teeth. Although, present at birth, the “baby tusks” fall out after a year, and permanent ones replace them. Tusks will continue to grow throughout their life. Tusks are used for digging, foraging, and fighting.

Elephants require an enormous amount of food to maintain their massive bodies. In a single day, one elephant may eat 300 pounds of vegetation, including grasses, roots, bark, leaves, and fruit, and drink 30 to 50 gallons of water. In order to find this much food and water, wild elephants are almost always on the move.

Female elephants spend their entire lives living together with other females and calves. These family groups are led by a single elephant, known as the matriarch, who is usually the oldest female. Male elephants will live with the herd until they are about 13 years old.