Asian elephant

Scientific name :
Elephas maximus
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Order :
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There are 2 species of elephant, one from Asia and one from Africa. The Asian elephant is smaller as it lives in forests and tree savannas, while its African relative inhabits grass savannas. As well as their size difference, two other physical features set these species apart: the African elephant’s trunk ends in two lips, while that of the Asian elephant has only one. Finally, both male and female African elephants develop tusks, whereas in Asia it is only the male that displays this feature.


Geographic distribution of the Asian elephant

Asian elephants are found in Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, India and Indonesia.



Habits of the Asian elephant

Asian elephants live in herds of up to 20 individuals, comprising females and offspring not yet weaned. Males often live alone or in small groups.


The Asian elephant is threatened with extinction

In Asia this species is extremely endangered, with hardly any left in the wild. Only a few groups are surviving in wildlife reserves. Unfortunately, due to population growth in certain countries and a lack of resources, there are many clashes between humans and elephants, with the latter often losing out. Many associations try to help locals to live alongside these animals and teach them how to benefit from their presence, for example through tourism.

Did you know?

When an elephant calf is born it cannot yet use its trunk, which later becomes a multi-purpose tool with 40,000 muscles!
Forest, tree savannah
Height: 5.50 m to withers.
Weight: 5 tonnes (male),
3 tonnes (female).
Grass, leaves, fruit, bark and roots
Longevity: 60 years.
Sexual maturity: 9 to 14 years.
Gestation: 22 months.
Young: 1
European protection programme

Les programmes européens EEP d'élevage et de conservation d'espèces menacées sont apparus en 1985. Un tel programme a pour but d'encourager, de surveiller... Find out more

Conservation status

stable menacé très menacé

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