Background

cuon-alpinus-map

The current known Asian Elephant population is depicted in dark red, though it is likely that they also extend into the areas depicted in green. The light red areas are where they were historically present. The Asian Elephant population span can be more realistically be shown as smaller, more fragmented patches within the dark red areas.

OVERVIEW

Pictured is a herd of Asian elephants, bathing.

A symbol of power and wisdom, Asian elephants are an important cultural symbol in Asia. Hinduism, for example, worships the half-human half-elephant Lord Ganesha as the Lord of success and the destroyer of evils and obstacles.

Elephants are the largest living land mammals, Asian elephants being smaller than their African elephant relatives. They are easily distinguished by their rounded ears and one (as opposed to two) finger-like appendage at the end of their trunk that acts like a finger to grab smaller items. Their trunks are used for many things including smelling, breathing, trumpeting, drinking, and grabbing small items such as food. Their main diet consists of roots, grasses, and fruit, of which they consume around 300 lbs daily.

These creatures are extremely sociable. The female elephants (cows) form families with other females and their offspring, led by the oldest female, while the male elephants (bulls) tend to be more free-roaming. These groups then join together to form herds. The current Asian elephant population spans from India in the west to Borneo in the east.

Over the past few centuries Asian elephants have been domesticated for physical labor (ie. carrying humans or tree trunks) and for war.

SUB SPECIES

Borneo Pigmy Elephant

Indian Elephant

Sri Lankan Elephant

Sumatran Elephant Calf

Sumatran Elephan