The Asian elephant is the largest land mammal on the Asian continent. They inhabit dry to wet forest and grassland habitats in 13 range countries spanning South and Southeast Asia. Asian elephants are extremely sociable, forming groups of six to seven related females that are led by the oldest female, the matriarch. In Asia, elephant herd sizes are significantly smaller than those of savannah elephants in Africa. More than two-thirds of an elephant’s day may be spent feeding on grasses. They always close to a source of fresh water because they need to drink at least once a day.
Threats of Asian Elephant
Threats to wild Asian elephant populations include habitat loss from deforestation and agricultural development, as well as conflict with humans as elephants seek space and raid crops grown close to their forest habitats. Most illegal ivory today comes from African elephants, with some 30,000 poached each year. Asian elephants, nonetheless, do still face the threat of poaching for the ivory trade. Only males have tusks, and females have been largely spared. However, a growing trade in elephant skin, used for jewelry, threatens both males and females alike. Young wild elephants are also trafficked from Myanmar into Thailand for the tourism trade.
Elephants are widely viewed as one of Earth’s most intelligent animals. They have a highly evolved neocortex, similar to humans, and some dolphin species. They demonstrate a wide variety of behaviors associated with high intelligence, including compassion, mimicry, grief, altruism, use of tools, and self-awareness.
Asian Elephant Trunks
It’s used for smelling, breathing, trumpeting, drinking, and grabbing things especially a potential meal. Elephants are fond of water and enjoy showering by sucking water into their trunks and spraying it over their bodies. The trunk alone contains about 100,000 different muscles. Asian elephants have a fingerlike feature on the end of their trunk that they can use to grab small items.
In the wild, female elephants, called cows, live in close-knit family herds with their young, but adult males, known as bulls, tend to roam on their own. Elephants have a longer pregnancy than any other mammal almost 22 months. Cows usually give birth to one calf every two to four years. At birth, baby elephants weigh about 200 pounds and stand about 3 feet tall. The life span of an Asian elephant approximately 48 years.
Diet of Elephant
Elephants eat roots, grasses, fruit, and bark and they eat a lot of them. An adult elephant can consume up to 300 pounds of food in a single day. Elephants are crepuscular they typically sleep during the day and are most active at dawn and dusk.