Yes they often do, but it is mainly the oldest matriarch who remembers things best (oldest female in the herd). She is said to have a very good social memory over time and can recognize friendly faces. This helps the herd grow and protects them. That is one reason why there is so much anger over poachers killing the biggest, oldest elephants. This jeopardizes the herd as a whole.
It appears that elephants do have strong memories. A study was done Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park in Africa that shows how elephants use their memories to survive. Scientists knew that some of these elephants they were studying had survived through a terrible drought from 1958 to 1961. Then there was a second severe drought in 1993; only the elephants who were old enough to have lived through the first drought left the park while the group of younger elephants stayed. Of the group that left, only 10% of their calves were lost; Of the younger group that stuck it out, they lost 40% of their calves. So in some cases, an elephants memory can help it survive.
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