Facts about elephants and best places to see them in the wild
Elephants are the planet’s biggest land animals, devouring around 50 tonnes of food each year. Our expert tutorial on the world’s largest land animals, including vital information about the different species and their natural habitat to provide you the best elephant guide there is. Enjoy!
How many species of elephant are there?
There are two main species of elephant which can be found in the wild: the African Elephant and the Asian Elephant. The African Elephant is divided into two sub-species: African Bush Elephant and African Forest Elephant. Learn more details about the three different species of Elephants.
What is the different between an African and Asian Elephant?
The three species of elephant are very similar in many ways. Early taxonomists separated them into different species based on the angle of their tusks. African elephants have more angled tusks than Asian elephants, so they were considered a different species.
Today it is widely known that both species are closely related and there is no scientific distinction between them. African elephants have larger ears and grey-black skin. Asian elephants have smaller ears and brown-grey skin.
What are the habitats of African and Asian elephants?
African Elephants live in sub-Saharan Africa. Asian Elephants live in south Asia, mainly in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Other species of elephant have become extinct over time due to hunting and destruction of their natural habitat.
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What do elephants eat?
Elephants are herbivores, eating more 150 different kinds of vegetation including grasses, leaves, bark and fruit. Elephants drink around 220 litres of water each day. Elephants consume a wide range of plants, including grass, leaves, woody vegetation from trees and shrubs, flowers and fruits when available. They will dig for roots after a rainfall. Please read our FAQ about what elephants eat for a further breakdown.
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Elephants in the wild
Where do I go if I want to see elephants in the wild?
“Elephants are some of the most intelligent animals in the world.”
They have a complex social structure and can learn from each other. An elephant never forgets. Elephants remember their routes, the landscape around them and how to get home after being separated. We’ve also compiled a guide on how elephants show that they are smart.
Do all elephants belong to a herd?
Elephants are highly social creatures that live in groups called herds. Their herd can range from 2 to 100 elephants depending on the area and season. The larger the elephant population, the bigger the herd becomes. Elephants are extremely loyal to their herd. They rely on the herd for protection, guidance and socialization.
When an elephant gets separated from its herd it can be seen as a form of torture. Elephants have to navigate through the forest with utmost caution because of predators like lions, crocodiles and even humans who kill them for food and their ivory.