Basic Information

Elephants are the largest land mammal on the planet. The scientific name for an Elephant is Elephantidae and they are under the order Proboscidea. They are a very social species; usually living in large groups of multiple "families". Elephants typically live for an average of 57 years in the wild but only 17 years in captivity. There are two sub-species in the elephant species: African Elephants and Asian Elephants. Fifty different countries have a wild elephant population of one of those sub-species, including Thailand. Both Asian and African Elephants are on the Endangered Species List and are listed as 'Endangered', which means that they will go extinct in the future if we don't do something.

Differences Between Asian and African Elephants
The Asian Elephant is found in Southeastern Asia and have four sub-species: Mainland, Sri Lankan, Sumatran and the Bornean (also known as pygmy elephants). Asian Elephant are very different from from African Elephant. One of the easiest ways to
differentiate an Asian Elephant from an African Elephant is by looking at its size. The average African Elephant is 2.5-4 meters tall and weighs 2,268-6,350 kilograms, but Asian Elephants are 2-3 meters tall and weigh 2,041-4,990 kilograms. Another way to differentiate between an Asian Elephant and an African Elephant is by looking at their tallest point. On an Asian Elephant, their tallest point is in the middle of their back, but the highest point of an African Elephant is at their shoulders. In terms of their diet, Asian Elephants prefer to eat grass while African Elephants prefer to eat leaves. Finally, the Asian Elephant has smoother skin and males only have tusks. 

Similarities Between Asian and African Elephants
Both Asian and African Elephants are mistreated. African Elephants are typically getting poached for their ivory because of its value on the Black Market, however, they are also being used in trekking camps all around Africa. Trekking camps are a recent development in African countries, but they have been around for decades in Asian countries. After a huge surge of interesting for having an "elephant experience" in Asian countries, countries like South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe started setting up trekking camps. However, African Elephants are a lot larger and more unpredictable than Asian Elephants, so they have to abuse the animals to make sure they don't hurt the tourists. Both Asian and African elephants are receiving the same abuse at trekking camps, and most people are completely oblivious to it.


The Different Variations of Elephants

African Elephants -

There are two species of African elephants.

The forest elephant of Central and West Africa

(Loxodonta cyclotis) and the bush or savannah

elephant (Loxodonta africana).


Asian Elephants - 

There is one species (Elephas maximus) but at least four subspecies are recognised: Mainland, Sri Lankan, Sumatran and the Bornean subspecies sometimes called pygmy elephants


Both African and Asian elephants are threatened species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The Society of Elephants

Elephants live in a complex, multi-layered society that consists of family units of related females and offspring. Males compete for dominance and the attentions of receptive females. Elephants live for up to 70 years and reach sexual maturity in their teens, which means social groups often consist of three or more generations. Like humans, elephant grandparents and parents pass knowledge down generations. A mother can teach her young of the day-to-day drinking and foraging sites, while the oldest elephants in the group will know how to deal with a drought due to their own experience say 50 years ago.


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