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Powered by the Devil himself, these beasts take only eight seconds to devour an adult dwarf, spit out the teeth and make off with his car. They normally wander in the wilderness peacefully, but if angered, they will chase a dwarf until they have satiated their bloodlust. If they catch him outdoors, they'll plant him as bait for the others, but they are not above chasing their prey into the depths of the earth. After an elephant has unsheathed its tusks, it cannot resheath them again until its bloodlust has been satisfied. No one has ever witnessed this happening. An elephant's main diet consists of elephant hunters.
Should you kill an elephant, its terrible carcass will yield 16 edible portions of meat and 10 portions of fat, if your butcher survives the strain of hauling the massive carcass all the way to the butcher shop.
Elephants will usually consider you beneath their attention. You will incur their wrath mainly in two ways:
- A hunter, soldier, or dwarf in a martial trance tries to prove he can face an elephant in armed combat. Whether he wins or loses, the rest of the herd may take offense.
- Caravan guards decide the elephants in the road (or near the road, or at a distance from it) must be vanquished to allow for passage. See above.
In either case, the elephants may decide to put the fear of God into your dwarves and make for your fort's entrance, either chasing a horribly maimed hunter or just stampeding in on their own. If the ensuing carnage produces corpses, you will have the additional problem of dwarves beelining to strip the bodies of all possessions.
If it's already happening, lock your doors and pray. Prevention is the word: The best defense is a long line of traps.
The only trap that will catch an elephant, 100% time guaranteed, is the cage trap. They can brave a couple of weapon traps, and even survive to the second or third stone-fall trap. Undead elephants have been known to survive eight weapon traps made from various trap components.
Elephants who have earned a name by killing a named creature before being tamed are not truly tamed; dwarves will not fear them, which makes killing all the easier. Such demonic brutes can be terrifying to unleash within your fortress. If you notice a named elephant has been tamed, it is wise to butcher it immediately-- the only real defense against this threat.
Elephants in Adventure mode aren't really much of a threat. They'll just run or ignore you whenever you're around, unless they're provoked or undead. Since you have full control of your character in Adventure mode, you can actually decide on how you deal with the beast. It's best that you fight them only when you're very experienced. There's not really any benefits for slaying them in Adventure mode (besides experience).
 Uses for elephants
Despite all their dangers, having swarms of wild elephants outside your fortress can be a good thing. Marksdwarves receive experience every time they fire a bolt, usually bumping their marksdwarf skill a few levels before they manage to score a kill. Elephants also make great pets - set some cage traps up and capture a few, tame them (making sure that they don't have a name already), and then use them for fortress defense (or food). Traders will pay a LOT for even an untamed elephant, so they make good trade items. Named elephants can also be traded to the elves, provided they're not in a wooden cage. Elephants produce a stack of 16 bones when butchered, and these can be used to make a stack of 80 bone bolts, meaning your marksdwarves will have plenty of shots before needing to gather more ammo.
If you modify your game files to make elephants trainable, War Elephants can form a terrifying assault force.
Elephants are one of the most feared and revered animals in the history of DF, their brutality unmatched. One good example of this was Boatmurdered; packs of elephants would suddenly attack and eat dwarves, their enormous tusks gleaming red with blood.
[CREATURE:ELEPHANT] [NAME:elephant:elephants:elephant] [TILE:'E'][COLOR:7:0:0] [LARGE_ROAMING] [MODVALUE:3] [GENPOWER:3] [PREFSTRING:strength] [IVORY] [DIURNAL] [POPULATION_NUMBER:15:30] [CLUSTER_NUMBER:3:7] [BENIGN][MEANDERER][NATURAL][PET] [PETVALUE:500] [BODY:QUADRUPED:TAIL:2EYES:2EARS:TRUNK:2LUNGS:HEART:GUTS:ORGANS:THROAT:NECK:SPINE:BRAIN:MOUTH] [SIZE:16] [MAXAGE:50:70] [ATTACK:MAIN:BYTYPE:STANCE:kick:kicks:1:2:BLUDGEON][ATTACKFLAG_WITH] [CHILD:10][CHILDNAME:elephant calf:elephant calves] [FAT:10] [BIOME_ANY_TROPICAL_FOREST] [BIOME_SHRUBLAND_TROPICAL] [STANDARD_FLESH] [HOMEOTHERM:10066]