Are there different sub-species?
The Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) can be divided by the zoologists in three subspecies:
- Ceylon elephant (Elephas maximus maximus) from Ceylon and/or SriLanka
- Indian elephant (Elephas maximus indicus) or also mainland elephant, whose habitat extends from India over Thailand, Viet Nam, Burma, China up to the Himalayas in Buthan.
- Sumatra elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) from the island Sumatra
Are Asian elephants in danger?
The Asian elephant belonged to the very much threatened animal species. The population explosion in Asia and the associated clearing the forest and the subsequent use of the soil for farming, fatally affects the existence.
Today’s population amounts to altogether approximately 50000 animals , of which about 15000 lives as work and tourist elephants. Often these animals are no longer used for breeding.
Another problem is the isolated remainder populations. The contact is missing to the small isolated groups of elephants to other herds. The important blood revitalization is missing, the “island populations” degenerates and becomes extinct.
Do elephants influence culture?
These subspecies were however so mixed by the traditional elephant attitude in Asia that there are probably hardly more pure subspecies of the Asian elephant. Elephants were bride gifts, war booty and commercial objects.
What distinguishes Asian elephants from African elephants?
More differences than between the 3 Asian subspecies exist between the Asian and African elephants.
Differences between the African and Asian elephants