Experts have observed pachyderms' behavior and concluded that they rank among the smartest in the animal kingdom.
And it seems that the old adage that elephants never forget may be particularly true in the case of matriarchs, who lead the herd and encode what's necessary for survival, such as food location and family identification. The dominant females build up a social memory as they get older, enabling them to recognize "friendly" faces. The older she is, the more effective she is. Her death is tragic for the group, and poachers usually target her, as she possesses the largest tusks in the herd of females.
Elephants also travel in packs and when the group gets too big, the eldest daughter breaks off to start her own contingent, yet she never forgets her roots. One researcher witnessed a mother and daughter elephant recognizing each other after 23 years of separation.
(Good, huh? But forget about this one: Elephants eat 160 to 350 pounds (72 to 158 kilograms) of food each day!!!)