Asian Elephant

posted: 11/24/15
Asian Elephants
Santanu Nandy/Getty Images
Scientific Name: Elephas maximus
Number Remaining: 40,000-50,000
Average Length: 22 feet
Average Weight: up to 11,000 pounds

Asian elephants can be found in through southern and southeastern Asian, from India to Thailand to southern China. There are three subspecies of the Asian Elephant: the Indian, the Sumatran, and the Sri Lankan.

These elephants are extremely intelligent animals and are one of the only mammals known to recognize itself in a mirror. They are also very social, forming groups of six to eight elephants which is lead by an older female called a matriarch.

Asian elephants are smaller than their African cousins. Their ears are much smaller and slightly resemble the shape of the continent of Asia. They also have much smaller tusks.

The largest threats to the Asian elephant are poaching and habitat loss. Their tusks are worth a lot of money on the black market, so large-tusked males are in constant danger of being poached. Elephants are also captured alive for domestic use, such as tourist attractions. Also, as the rainforest they call home are cut down, the closer these elephants must become to humans. They will start feeding on farmers' crops, which puts them at risk of being killed.

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An Elephant Roadblock

Asian Elephants in the News:

How You Can Help:

  • Asian Elephant Support: Check out their projects throughout southern and southeast Asia to help conserve the species and learn how you can help their cause, from donations to animal care.
  • Asian Elephant Conservation Fund: Learn about legislation passed to protect Asian Elephants.
  • Elephant Voices: Learn what you can do on an individual level for the elephants, from signing petitions against ivory to spreading the word about the elephants' plight.
  • World Wildlife Fund: Learn more about the species and the organization is doing to help.
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