Here are all those interesting and amazing Indian elephant facts for kids that you’re looking for such as Indian elephant diet, habitat, reproduction, and its behavior. The Indian elephant (Elephas maximus indicus) is one of the three extant subspecies of Asian elephants and is endemic to the mainland Asia.
These elephant species are placed in the list of endangered animals by IUCN since the numbers have significantly declined by 50% over the past 50 or 60 years.
One of the foremost causes of their deaths is habitat loss, fragmentation, human hunting, and fragmentation. Over the past few years, Indian elephants have been put to death in large numbers and one of the reasons for this much hunting is the commercial trading of elephants ivory.
In some places of India, elephants do have cultural significance and is regarded highly in the spiritual perspective. Indian elephants are listed as endangered species by IUCN. Some countries have imposed ban on illegal elephant hunting; however, it seems as if the law was not deemed to be followed.
Indian Elephant Facts For Kids
- Indian elephants are smaller in comparison to the African elephants. They have a convex back.
- The shoulder height of these elephants measure around 2 – 3.5 meters (6.6 – 11.5 feet).
- The weight of these species is around 2,000 – 5,000 kg (4,400 – 11,000 lb).
- The Indian elephants have 19 ribs pairs.
- The males are typically larger than females.
- The largest Indian elephant ever recorded was at 3.43 meters (11.3 feet) in shoulder height.
- These elephant species have smaller ears and broader skulls as compared to the African elephants.
- Indian elephants are termed as megaherbivores.
- These animals consume more than 110 species of plants.
- Indian elephants have long been recognized as domesticated animals for thousands of years.
- They are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
- According to a study, these types of elephants devour 136 kg (300 pounds) of food each day.
- Like African elephants, Indian elephants also do not sleep too much as they travel great distances in pursuit of food.
- On the negative side, the ivory of these animals is mainly responsible for the extreme human hunting. There are people who killed them for tusks.
- The average lifespan of Indian elephants is about 60 years.
Distribution and Habitat
- Indian elephants inhabit all along the mainland Asia including Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal, Bhutan, India, Laos, China, Cambodia, Malay Peninsular, and Vietnam.
- They are usually found in thick forests and moist deciduous lush green and semi-green forests.
- The largest concentrations of these animals are found in few places in India including Uttar Pardesh, Yamuna River, foot of the Himalayas in Uttaranchal, northern West Bengal, foothills of Nagaland, Garo Hills, Khasi Hills, Arunachal Pradesh, Lower Brahmaputra, Barak Valley, western Assam, Mishmi Hills, Karbi Plateau, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Tripura, Barak Valley, Western Ghats, Bhadra-Malnad, Eastern Ghats, Nilambur-Silent Valley, Nilgiris, and Anamalai-Parambikulam.
- There are around 26,390 to 30,770 Indian elephants across India. In Nepal, the numbers are 100 to 125 and their population is limited to a few places like Terai border and Bardia National Park.
- In Bangladesh, there are 150 – 250 Indian elephants exist; in Bhutan 250 – 500; in Myanmar 4,000 – 5,000; in Thailand 2,500 – 5,000; in Cambodia 250 – 600; in China 200 – 250; in Malaysia and Laos the numbers are 2,100 – 3,100 and 500 – 1,000 respectively.
- These types of elephants are best known for their movement within an area of 1,130 sq. km (440 sq. miles). They are commonly found in forests that are dominated by rich vegetation and trees.
- Indian elephants mostly reside at an elevation of 1,400 – 1,800 meters (4,600 – 5,900 feet), with some species also exist at 400 – 1,400 meters (1,300 – 4,600 feet).
- The elephants living in Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve have a range of about 562 sq. km (217 sq. miles) and 799 sq. km (308 sq. miles).
Read More: Elephant Facts For Kids
Feeding Ecology and Diet
- Indian elephants are megaherbivores and are widely known to eat almost 150 kg (330 lb) of food each day. The bulk of the diet comprises plant matter and vegetation.
- They browse through dense forests and dry grasslands in search of grass, leaves, and plants matter. According to a study, Indian elephants consume more than 112 different types of plants; with some of these are palm, true grass, sedge, and legume. They are also known to graze on tall trees.
- Indian elephants supplement their diet with roots, tree-tops, shoots, fresh foliage, twigs, white thorn, leaves of acacia species; fruits including tamarind, date palm, kumbhi, and wood apple.
- The elephants inhabiting in the Bardia National Park feed on large amounts floodplain grass.
- Those dwelling in Asaam are observed to feed on more than 20 different species of plants, trees, and grass. They cover an area of 160 sq. km (62 sq. miles).
Read More: What Do Elephants Eat?
- The pregnancy period of these animals is one of the longest of all mammals which is 22 months.
- The females give birth to one calf in a period of 2 – 4 years.
- The weight of young elephants at birth is about 91 kg (200 pounds).