Indian Elephants are native to southern Asia. They are generally smaller in size than African elephants and weigh between 4,000 and 11,000 pounds. Though they may be smaller, the animal’s length is still 21 feet long! They inhabit grasslands, dry forests and moist deciduous forests. Indian Elephants spend up to 19 hours a day eating and consume up to 330 pounds of plant matter each day.
During the dry months of January to April, Indian Elephants congregate at high densities, while in the wetter months, they spread out and spend less time together. They also tend to always be near a water source because they need to hydrate at least once a day. With the amount of food they eat, they can also produce over 220 pounds of dung each day. The elephant’s favorite foods are sugarcane, bananas and rice. Indian Elephants help maintain the forest and grassland habitats of southern Asia.
They are an integral part of the ecosystem but are currently being pushed into smaller and smaller areas without many resources. These majestic creatures can travel up to 125 square miles a day. This leads to human-elephant conflict because humans are developing land that the elephant can no longer use to roam and feed on. As a result, Indian Elephants are currently an endangered species, and there are only 20,000-25,000 elephants left.
Indian Elephants are also illegally poached for the ivory trade. Since only male elephants have large ivory tusks, this leads to an imbalanced sex ratio within the population and makes breeding more elephants harder.