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Elephants, like most herbivores, have symiobtic bacteria in their gut that helps them break down their food. They are not born with these bacteria the only way for a calf to get them is to eat the faeces of its mother or other elephants. Some of the bacteria are excreted with the faeces, and by eating them the calf acquires the essential bacteria.Also, an elephant's digestive system is not very efficient. What comes out is not that much different from what goes in it still contains some nutritional value that the gut failed to extract. Therefore, an elephant can eat another elephant's (or its own) dung and gain some good from it. In order to compensate for this digestive inefficiency, elephants have to eat almost round the clock to ensure they get enough nutrition from their food.

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  • Jaya Savannah in Samburu, Kenya
Jaya Savannah

I'm passionate about wild elephant conservation. It's something that has overtaken my heart and soul. After a trip to Kenya, where I went to see wild elephants and meet some of my conservationist heroes, I returned to Northern California, asking, "What can I do to help?" So I began writing.

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