Asian Elephant

Elephas maximus

 Elephant mother "Temi" with her offspring Elephant cub "Otto" climbing over a tree stump. IUCN Red List endangerment category: Endangered
  • Family
    Elephants (Elephantidae)
  • Weight
    ♀ 3 t, ♂ 6 t
  • Habitat
    Primarily tropical forests

Versatile trunk

Elephants use their trunk to perform a wide range of tasks. The trunk contains about 40,000 muscles making it extremely flexible. They use it to grasp and bring food to their mouths, as a snorkel when underwater and to spray water or sand on their bodies. Elephants also employ their trunks for tactile communication, often wrapping them around each other to show affection.

An Asian elephant with two large tusks.

Asian or African elephant?

The Asian elephant is the second largest land animal on Earth. It stands up to 3 m tall; only the African elephant is larger with a height of up to 4 m. Other noticeable differences include: Asian elephants have much smaller ears than African, and unlike the latter only Asian males have long tusks. Also Asian elephants only have one “fi nger” on the lip of their trunk, while African elephants have two.

Webcam 1 Asian Elephant enclosure

Webcam 2 Asian Elephant enclosure 

An adult Asian elephant eats a bathtub of grass, twigs and hay every day. It also drinks between 100 and 200 litres per day, depending on the temperature.