Asiatic elephant Elephas maximus (EEP)
Weightup to 5 tonnes
South-east Asia (Borneo, Sumatra, Sri Lanka, India, Burma)
Asiatic and African elephants are similar but have a few anatomical differences. Asiatic elephants have much smaller ears than their African cousins, an arched back, 4 toenails on their back feet and a single ‘finger’ on the end of their trunk. Unlike males, female Asiatic elephants do not have tusks, although they may have small residual ‘tushes’.
Adult Asiatic elephants spend 16–18 hours a day eating and can ingest up to 150kg of grass, leaves, young shoots, fruit and roots.
Females produce a single young after a pregnancy lasting 22 months. The young are generally breastfed until the age of 4 years, when the mother has another baby.
Living in tropical forests, Asiatic elephants are endangered by the destruction and fragmentation of their habitat. They sometimes attack crops, which also brings them into conflict with human communities. Lastly, males are hunted for their tusks, which causes a highly undesirable gender-ratio in some populations. The total number of Asiatic elephants is estimated to be less than 50,000.
La Palmyre Zoo helps protecting this species in the wild by supporting the programme: HUTAN
Hutan helps conserving orangutans, elephants and many other endangered wildlife species on the island of Borneo. This program is based in Sukau, in the Kinabatangan area. Hutan works closely with the local authorities to develop recommendations for the conservation of wildlife and ecosystems.
Status in the wild (Source: IUCN)
- Not evaluatedNE
- Data deficientDD
- Least concernLC
- Near threatenedNT
- Critically endangeredCR
- Extinct in the wildEW