Here are some facts -
- Largest mammal that lives on land
- Intelligent animals
- Found in Asian countries - India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Malay and Sumatra
- Weighs around 5 tonnes but eats only grass, leaves, twigs and berries.
- An adult elephant eats 136 kg of food in a day.
We do not have any data about the number of elephants a few 100 years back. But what we do know for a fact is that the Mughal Emperor Jahangir (17th century) had 113,000 captive elephants in his empire. Today, WWF states the total number of Asian elephants are between 20,000-25,000 worldwide. The map shows the distribution of the elephants in Asia (before and now).
Why are they being endangered?
- Killed for their tusks and skin which fetch huge money.
- Their living habitats are used for human development like houses, road, buildings, etc and so the elephants die for want of food or get killed when they strand to villages or towns for food.
Why saving them matters?
- The world is not just for people. It is as much for the animals as it is for us.
- Saving elephants is like saving forests. (Remember, they eat 136 kg of grass and twigs a day from many trees)
- Saving forests in turn means saving all the animal species that live there.