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Home > Slideshows > Village of Elephants
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Village of Elephants: In Central African forests there are low, marshy clearings called "bais". These are visited daily for their nutritious plants and soil’s high mineral content by wildlife such as western lowland gorillas, sitatunga and bongo antelopes, forest buffalos, African grey parrots, and forest elephants. Dzanga Bai, in Dzanga-Ndoki National Park, is best known for its elephants. As many as 100 a day can be observed there, pumping mineral salts which lie in solution at the bottom of deep holes which the elephants have dug. They collect the salts, which compensate for any diet imbalances, by inserting their trunks into these depressions and blowing noisily first to empty them of air. The word "bai" comes from the Aka language and is thought to mean “where the animals eat” or in Dzanga Bai’s case, "the village of elephants".