Track It Thursday: Elephant Droppings

These big ball, or bolus shaped droppings are from an elephant, one of only four animals that produce this type of dung.

Even though the hippo, black rhino and white rhino all produce similar shaped poop the elephants are the only ones who can do it while walking! However, the main difference between rhino and elephant dung is in the texture and colour. Also, rhino’s do not defecate as often as elephants so their dung is more compact and they tend to use middens whereas elephants will do their business anywhere and very often.

Elephant dung is usually a dark shade of brown but becomes lighter as it dries out. It is also quite course with broken twigs and grass as well as fruit and berries which are not always digested and can go in one end and come out the other almost unscathed! These sizeable balls of poo can stay damp in the centre for a number of days and so it is quite easy to identify how long ago an elephant was in the area.

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