CRITICALLY ENDANGERED SPECIES | Asian Elephant
Elephants are an important cultural icon in Asia. According to Hindu mythology, the gods (deva) and the demons (asura) churned the oceans in a search for the elixir of life so that they would become immortal. As they did so, nine jewels surfaced, one of which was the elephant. In Hinduism, the powerful deity honored before all sacred rituals is the elephant-headed Lord Ganesha, who is also called the Remover of Obstacles.
Asian elephants are extremely sociable, forming groups of six to seven related females that are led by the oldest female, the matriarch. Like African elephants, these groups occasionally join others to form herds, although these associations are relatively transient.
More than two thirds of an elephant’s day may be spent feeding on grasses, but large amounts of tree bark, roots, leaves and small stems are also eaten. Cultivated crops such as bananas, rice and sugarcane are favorite foods. Elephants are always close to a source of fresh water because they need to drink at least once a day.
Source: World Wildlife Fund
Eastern Himalayas, Greater Mekong
Fewer than 50,000
• SCIENTIFIC NAME
Elephas maximus indicus
6.5– 11.5 feet
around 11,000 pounds
around 21 feet
WHY THEY MATTER
A future for Asian elephants ensures a future for other species and wild spaces.
WHY THEY ARE CRITICALLY ENDANGERED
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Adopt an Animal
Make a Symbolic Elephant Adoption to help save some of the world’s most endangered animals from extinction and support conservation efforts.
Learn how you can take action against the most urgent threat to elephants, rhinos and tigers.
CLICK FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE ASIAN ELEPHANT.
Source of all information provided on page: World Wildlife Fund