They are significantly lighter (up to 4,600 kg) than their African cousin – the African bush elephant (up to 6,900 kg) – and they also have smaller, rounded ears. They have brown to dark grey skin with pink patches on the ears, forehead, chest, and trunk base. Their tusks can be measured up to 1.5m (5 ft) in length.
They are listed as Endangered due to reason poaching and killing for tusks, skin, and meat, but the threat was not as severe as it is in Africa. They also sometimes raid farmers’ fields, damage crops, and kill people accidentally. This causes farmers to kill them in self-defense.
Sing when looking for mates but cannot be heard by human ears due to extremely low ultrasound frequencies of the sound.
March 2023: The government of India announced plans to establish a new Elephant Rehabilitation Centre in the state of Tamil Nadu, which will provide medical care and rehabilitation services to captive elephants.
Sep 2022: The government of Sri Lanka announced that it had established a new national park, Somawathiya National Park, which will provide important habitat for wild elephants as well as other wildlife.
Feb 2022: The government of Myanmar announced that it had designated a new protected area, the Bago Yoma Elephant Range Wildlife Sanctuary, which will provide important habitat for wild elephants as well as other wildlife.
Did you know?
- The population of Sumatran elephants (subspecies sumatranus) in Indonesia’s North Aceh district, ranging from 924 to 1360 individuals, is facing a growing threat as their habitat is being progressively destroyed by the expansion of oil palm plantations, leaving them confined to ever-shrinking forested areas.
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Terrestrial / Aquatic
Altricial / Precocial
Polygamous / Monogamous
Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic
Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal
Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd
Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore
Migratory: Yes / No
Domesticated: Yes / No
Dangerous: Yes / No