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  • Writer's pictureDevika Shastri

The Indian Elephant

Updated: Mar 29, 2022

The Indian elephant defines grace and elegance and really does seem impeccable in its beauty. Some people refer to them as colossal beasts while others frame them as gentle giants of the grassy plains. I think otherwise, at first the Indian elephant seems intimidating, but when you really observe them in their habitat, you see their raw beauty. They truly are a marvel of nature!

The Indian elephant also known as Elephas maximus indicus is the largest land mammal on the Asian continent. They inhabit dry to wet forest and grasslands. Their habitat expands over 13 countries spanning across South and Southeast Asia. While they have prefer to forage on grasses and plants, Indian elephants have evolved over time and are well adapted to surviving on resources that vary based on the area.

Indian Elephants feed mainly on grasses, bushes, bark & roots, seasonal fruits & leaves. Their average daily food intake requirement varies from 150 kilograms to 180 kilograms, depending on the season. Female elephants can weigh up to 2000 kilograms whereas their male counterparts can weigh up to 4000 kilograms!

Indian elephants have the longest gestation period of all animals in India, typically around 18 to 21 months. They are delineated as an endangered species with only fewer than 50,000 remaining in the wild.

The Indian elephant is characterised by its elongated upper lip and nose, columnar legs and huge head with wide flat ears. They are smaller in stature with their African cousins. Indian elephants are gray- ish to brown in colour, and their body hair is sparse and as coarse as sandpaper. Ouch! Ever rubbed against an elephant and you will immediately reconcile with my sandpaper concept.

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Apr 18, 2021

Superb Devika! So proud!

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