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#291 African Forest Elephant

Critically Endangered

These are small when compared to other elephants. The females do not even reach 8 feet at the shoulder, and the largest bulls are 9 feet 8 inches or smaller. In comparison, the Savanna Elephant (also known as African Bush Elephant) has a record size of 13 feet. About 10 years ago these and the Savanna were considered subspecies of the African Elephant. Now instead of that umbrella species, it has been realized that they are two completely separate species. These are not only much smaller, they start reproducing at a much later date, and do not have subsequent pregnancies as quickly either. This makes it harder for their species to recover as well. Another difference is that their tusks are straighter than the Savanna elephant. They don't curve toward each other or up as much, which means that some males have even had their tusks reach the ground. Those tusks of course are what makes poaching their biggest threat. The IUCN released a new list of animals considered critically endangered on March 25th, and sadly these are now included on that list. They have had an 86% population decline in only 31 years.

I need to come up with several emergency species that I have done some research on already. I got used to knowing ahead of time what I would be painting every day because of the last mini-series. When I got home from shopping I was just staring at the computer wondering what on earth I was going to paint! I started looking into ones that were newly added. I got into a mild panic because I really would rather not stay up and be posting this at 11:50pm. Well, I probably wouldn't be in as much of a panic if I hadn't been driving in a car I knew there was a spider in. I almost had an accident on the way to the last of the stores I went to getting groceries for people. I knew there might be a spider because there was some spider webbing showing up in a couple spots. The other day though my husband had taken one out of the car for me. I thought maybe that was the only one there was. Nope, I was almost to the store and suddenly a large spider popped out of the side frame of the car, ran around like a lunatic on the window in front of me. It was as if it was just showing off and mocking me. Right before I got into the parking lot it ran again back into the frame so I couldn't even ask a nice person in the parking lot to get it for me. So now, I know there is a large spider, that it likes to dance around and laugh at me, but I can't catch it to put it somewhere with more bugs.

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