Female elephant herds like this are made up of related females and their young. The herd is led by the matriarch, which is usually the oldest female of the group. Males leave the group when they become sexually mature (typically 12–13 years old), and form their own groups. The activities of the herd are set by the matriarch—when she moves, they follow in a line; when she stops to eat, they spread out to eat; and when they are threatened, the herd clusters around her and follows her lead. When herds move across an open area in daylight, they typically bunch together and move quickly until they reach cover.
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Jeff Trollip, Gorongosa National Park