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Kerala – Indian Elephant

Indian Elephant

Common Name: Elephant

Local Name: Haathi (Hindi), Ana (Marathi)

Scientific Name: Elephas maximus indicus Cuvier

Description: The Indian Elephant is one of the three subspecies of the Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus). Elephants are easily recognized by their enormous size, large fan-shaped ears, characteristic long proboscis (trunk), pillar-like limbs that support their enormous body weight, and their remarkable dentition that has been modified into tusks.  Unlike the African Elephants, the Indian Elephants possess smaller ears, broader skulls, larger trunks, and abdomen proportionate with their body weight. Elephants are megaherbivores and consume more than 150kg of vegetation every day.

Distribution: The Indian elephant inhabits the forests of India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, Myanmar, Malay Peninsula, China, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. With 27,312 elephants, India holds the most significant number of wild elephants.

Threats: Some of the dangers faced by the elephant populations include deforestation, habitat loss and fragmentation, loss of corridors, poaching, hunting, road and rail accidents, and human-elephant conflicts.

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