Asian Elephant Facts
41 – 50 years
3.0 – 4.4 tons
grasses, fruit, bark, and roots
Tigers can pray on baby elephants, or calves, but humans are the main predators of Asian elephants.
In general, the Asian elephant is smaller than the African elephant and the skin color can vary from dark gray to tan and even sometimes slightly pink. An elephant’s tusk contains 60,000 muscles and is used for grabbing objects, breathing, drinking, and other necessary daily functions. Male elephants have tusks, while female elephants usually lack tusks or have very small ones. Elephants have very thick skin that can be 1.2 inches thick.
Elephants are one of the most intelligent animals on the planet and can many times remember elephants or people from their past. They spend most of their day feeding as they need to eat 300 pounds of plant matter a day, which classifies them as megaherbivores. Adult females and calves live together in herds, while male, or bull, elephants will form groups of only male elephants. One female elephant, the matriarch, will lead a herd of elephants, but the social ties between the elephants are very fluid.
Although tigers have been known to kill baby elephants that were stranded from the herd, humans are the main threat to Asian elephants. Elephants are hunted and poached for their tusks, which are made out of ivory. Also, farmers will kill elephants that try to roam onto the farmer’s land. Furthermore, elephants are captured from the wild to be used in commercial industries, such as circuses, begging, and logging. Elephant riding can severely injure elephants and makes the elephant no longer feel like an elephant. No matter how exciting it may look to ride an elephant, the elephant only feels pain and can sustain life threatening injuries. The elephants used in these industries were torn away from their mothers at a young age and were beaten until they lost all hope. The elephants used in these industries work terrible hours and are treated terribly.
How can you Help?
Don’t ride elephants. Especially not with a riding chair or use of bull hooks.
Learn about Asian Elephants and spread the word to others.
Help prevent conflict between humans and elephants.
Support elephant sanctuaries, but do your research and find the right ones!