Anatomy Elephants in the wild

How Fast Can An Elephant Run?

An elephant is an enormous animal with a large brain that can be found in sub saharan Africa, the indian subcontinent or other forest environments. They’re also pretty slow-moving in general.

Despite their massive anatomy, elephants are capable of surprising bursts of speed when necessary.

We all know that elephants are big and lumbering animals. But what you may not know is how fast an elephant can run when it needs to or what kind of speed can an elephant reach. After all, their safety is at risk when there are predators around trying to make a meal out of them.

In order to escape from potential threats, elephants should be able to read the situation quickly and respond just as fast by running away at high speeds.

Let’s take a look at how fast can an elephant run and what is their natural walking speed.

Natural Speed Of The Elephants

If you’ve ever seen baby elephants playing around and tumbling down a hillside, you may have noticed that they’re pretty quick with using foot moves or moving their limbs slightly.

Compared to adults, young elephants can move like greased lightning.

When a calf is only a few months old, it can run at about 14 miles per hour. As the animal grows, its speed will increase as well. As calves grow into adults, their speed decreases dramatically, they move slightly slower (the running speeds slightly decreases).

An adult elephant’s top speed is about 30 miles per hour. The average human can’t outrun elephant. However, when you take into account the size of the animal and the fact that it’s a herbivore, then you have to admit that 30 miles per hour, are pretty impressive.

How Fast Can Elephants Run?

Elephants are large animals but slow-moving, but when it needs to run, it can do so quickly.

Baby elephants can run at a speed of 14 miles per hour (mph), while an adult can run at a speed of 30 miles per hour (mph) at maximum speed.

While the average running speed (estimated speed) is 15 mph, which is about 24-25 km/h.

Elephants Top Speed

A Baby Elephant will run at 14 mph from a very young age

An Adult Elephant will run at a maximum speed of 30 mph

Elephants can run for only a short distance before tiring out. However, when it needs to run, it can move fast.

When an elephant is in danger or something is threatening it, it will need to run, and it will need to do it fast. These are big animals, coming in at around 5000 pounds unlike other animals.

An elephant who is being chased by a predator might need to run to get away. It will have to do so as fast and increase the running speed as it can to keep from being injured or eaten.

Footing And Speed

One of the reasons why elephants can run increase its running speed is that its feet are so wide. It can run with its feet at a width of almost four feet. This means that it covers a lot of ground, and it’s able to move so quickly because of its lengthy stride and it can change its walking gait.

Elephants mostly maintain the same footfall pattern, this means that they keep their right hind foot forward, then the right front foot, the left hind foot and lastly the left front foot.

An elephant can run so fast due to its long stride coupled with the fact that it has a very low center of gravity. This means that it’s able to move at a faster speed than it would usually be able to.

This low center of gravity is what keeps it from falling over when running so fast.

Why Do Elephants Run?

Elephants are usually very calm animals, but they will need to run if they feel like they are in danger. When an elephant is being chased by a predator, it will need to run as fast as it can to keep from being eaten or injured.

An elephant will also run if it feels like it is in danger of being hurt by something else, like a human. If an elephant is being threatened by a human, it will try to run away to safety.

Herd of Elephants walking the savannah. Photo by Rachel Claire.

How Fast Can Elephants Run While Maintaining Control?

When elephants are running, they are able to maintain a lot of control. This is because its feet are so wide and it has a very low center of gravity.

These two things combined allows elephants to make quick turns without losing its balance. It can run at slow speeds, or top speed an maintain great balance.

An elephant can run on fast speeds and maintain control because of how its feet are shaped and how its body is balanced. These two things work together to allow elephants make sharp turns without falling over.

While elephants are running, they may not be able to see where they are going because their trunks are in the way.

This is why elephants will sometimes swing their trunk from side to side while they are running. Elephants do this to help them see where they are going and to avoid obstacles.

An elephant needs to be able to see where it is going while it is running so that it can avoid obstacles and stay safe. To do this, it swings its trunk from side to side.

What Is An Elephant’s Typical Walking Speed?

The typical walking speed of an elephant is 2 miles per hour but the speed can vary depending on the elephant species. This is the speed that which it walks around when it’s just out exploring the landscape and doing its daily thing.

This speed is pretty slow even though they move with all their feet and causes the elephant no trouble or strain at all.

At this walking speed, elephants are able to move along the landscape and go wherever it needs or wants to go. It’s able to move at this speed and still be careful of its surroundings and the things that it passes.

The Bottom Line

Elephants can run very fast, but it will only do so if it feel threats and danger.

Elephants have a wide stride and a low center of gravity, which allows them to maintain control while running quickly.

When an elephant is running, it may swing its trunk from side to side to be able to see where it’s going.

Frequently Asked Questions about Elephants running speed

How fast can an Elephant run?

An Adult Elephant will run at a maximum speed of 30 mph while a Baby Elephant will as fast as 14 mph from a relatively young age.

What is the top speed of an Elephant?

The top speed of an Elephant running is 30 mph.

What is the average walking speed of an Elephant?

The typical walking speed of an elephant is about 2 miles per hour but the speed may vary depending on the species of the Elephant.

By John Williams

John Williams is a world-renowned photographer, best known for his breathtaking images of African elephants. He has been to Africa a total of 13 times in order to photograph these majestic creatures, and he has published his work in prestigious papers such as National Geographic Magazine.

For years, John was obsessed with capturing the perfect photo of Satao – an elephant so famous that it had its own Wikipedia page. He pursued this goal relentlessly, until the elephant's death in 2014. But John was finally able to achieve his dream – he photographed Satao shortly before the animal's death.

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