The reproduction process of Loxodonta cyclotis has several unique characteristics. Due to the fact that this species is currently endangered, the production of offspring is crucial in the continuation of this elephant. 

      Female African forest elephants reach sexual maturity around ten to twelve years of age, becoming reproductive (Hilderbrandt et al., 2006). In contrast, male elephant reaches puberty around the age of twenty-five. At this time, the male separates from his herd. A wild male will begin breeding around age thirty; this is when the elephant reaches a weight and size that can compete with other males for breeding (Perry, 1953). In addition to sexual maturity, males undergo a periodic state of heightened sexual aggregation known as "musth." During musth, testicular activity can increase up to four times more than regular levels (Hilderbrandt, 2006). This causes hormonal and behavioral changes in the elephant. Age plays a factor in this stage for males; younger male elephants experience musth for a shorter period of time, while the period is longer for older elephants (Loxodonta, 2009). There are numerous behaviors that the male exhibits while in musth. An erect walk, rubbing of the head on tree trunks and flapping of the ears to disperse the musth scent, low-pitched calls, and slow urination are all behaviors that attracts females, letting them know that the male is in musth and is ready to mate (Loxodonta, 2009).

     Mating usually occurs during the dry season, mostly in the months of January and February (Perry, 1953). Larger, more dominant, males are generally preferred by the female elephants, so males must compete with one another to find a partner (Loxodonta, 2009). Elephants have the longest gestation period, or the process of the young being carried in the womb between conception and birth, being twenty to twenty-two months (Hilderbrandt, 2008). It is average for a female to only give birth to one offspring at a time (having twins is very rare). She will conceive every three to six years, having a total of seven offspring on average during her lifespan (African, 2013). Mothers, along with other female members of the herd, care for the young until roughly age eight. At this point, the calf becomes independant (Loxodonta, 2009).


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