Elderly male elephants are the most determined to mate
The discovery could have implications for trophy hunters, who target the biggest and oldest bulls.
Measuring 10 feet tall at the shoulder and weighing over 6 tons, Matt the African savanna elephant is one of the largest land animals on Earth. And though the pachyderm is as old as 52, he still puts an incredible amount of energy into mating.
In fact, elderly males like Matt invest much more effort in tracking down and mating with females than do younger male elephants, according to a new study.
For about three months a year, Matt—who lives in a population that spans Kenya’s Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves—goes into reproductive overdrive, a state biologists call musth (pronounced “must.”) During musth, middle-aged and elderly male elephants roam the savanna—spending little time eating or resting—to mate with