Asian Elephant

(Elephas maximus)

 

Size:

 

 Height: 250 300 cm; Length: 550 640 cm,

Weight: 5,000 kg

Lifespan: up to 80 years
Population: 25,000-32,000
Family life:

 

Mature male elephants live alone. Females live in family groups with their mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and babies.
Habitat: Rainforest and tropical woodlands
Locomotion:

Extremely large feet allow the animal to travel long distances

Food source: Grasses, leaves, shoots, barks, & fruits
Closest relatives: Hyraxes and Manatees
Relationship to humans:

 

Many Asian elephants have traditionally been used in labor tasks that humans cannot perform alone, like logging.

photo M Noonan

 

Cool facts:

Asian elephants are the largest terrestrial mammals in Asia. They use their long trunk for obtaining food as well as to smell and touch. 

Conservation Status:

The growing human population has displaced many elephants from their natural habitats, leading to a decrease in the Asian elephant population. The loss of habitat and poaching are the largest threat to the Asian elephant population.

What is being done now?

Organizations are working to rehabilitate young elephants that become injured or separated from their mothers, rather than allowing these individuals to die in the wild. There are also increasingly strict punishments for poachers hunting wild Asian elephants.

What should be done in the future?

In the future, it is crucial to the survival of Asian elephants to have larger areas of land for the population to sustain themselves in the wild. It would be best if the habitat existed with as little human impact as possible.

 

Content provided by Canisius College students under the direction of Michael Noonan, PhD.