land mammals in
extant genera of with the third are
the family Elephantidae: Elephas and Loxodonta, genus Mammuthus extinct. Three species of
universally recognized: the African bush elephant, the African forest elephant and the Indian or Asian some researchers also postulate the existence of a fourth species in West Africa.
All other species
and genera of Elephantidae are extinct. Most have been extinct since the last ice age, although dwarf forms of mammoths might have survived as late as 2,000 BCE. Elephants and other Elephantidae were once classified
with other thick-skinned animals in a now invalid order, Pachydermata. Elephants are the largest living land animals on Earth today. longest of any land animal.
The elephant's gestation period is 22 months, the
At birth, an elephant calf typically weighs 105 kilograms (230 lb).
  
live for 50 to 70 years, but the oldest recorded elephant lived for 82 years. was shot in Angola in 1955.
The largest elephant ever recorded , with a shoulder height of
This male weighed about 24,000 lb (11,000 kg)
3.96 metres (13.0 ft), a metre (yard) taller than the average male African elephant.
The smallest elephants, about
the size of a calf or a large pig, were a prehistoric species that lived on the island of Crete during the Pleistoceneepoch.
Elephants are a symbol of wisdom in Asian cultures and are famed for their memory and intelligence, where their intelligence level is thought to be equal to that of dolphins
  
Aristotle once said the
elephant was "the beast which passeth all others in wit and mind." Greek ἐλέφας, meaning "ivory" or "elephant".
The word "elephant" has its origins in the
According to observations, healthy adult elephants have no natural predators, or weak individuals.
although lions may take calves
They are, however, threatened by human intrusion and poaching.
ancient as the divergence of Asian elephants and mammoths. Given their ancient divergence, we conclude that African savanna and forest elephants should be classified as two distinct species.
Main article: Asian elephant The Asian elephant, Elephas maximus, is smaller than the African. It has smaller ears, and typically, only the males have large external tusks. The world population of Asian elephants—also called Indian elephants—is estimated to be around 60,000, about a tenth of the number of African elephants. More precisely, it is estimated that there are between 38,000 and 53,000 wild elephants and between 14,500 and 15,300 domesticated elephants in Asia, with perhaps another 1,000 scattered around zoos in the rest of the world.
The Asian elephants' decline has
possibly been more gradual than the African and caused primarily by poaching and habitat destruction by human encroachment.
There is anorphanage for elephants in Pinnawala. Sri Lankan males have very large cranial bulges.000–4. The mainland Asian can be found in 11 Asian countries.500 members of this subspecies left today in the wild. usually in forested regions and partially wooded habitats. Numbering approximately 36.400 kg (12.India. The Sumatran elephant.000 kg (11. Sri Lanka. between forests and grasslands.000 lb).A decorated Indian elephant in Jaipur.6–8. their ears. using morphometric data and molecular markers.6 m (5. where greater food variety is available.
Elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka
Several subspecies of Elephas maximus have been identified. Elephas maximus indicus (Indian elephant) makes up the bulk of the Asian elephant population. It also has relatively larger ears. It is the largest of the Asians.000. They prefer forested areas and transitional zones. although no accurate census has been carried out recently. Typically. and both sexes have more areas of depigmentation than other Asians. these elephants are lighter grey in colour.4 m (11 ft) tall. There are an estimated 3. is smaller than the Indian elephant. In 2003.7–2. but are as tall as the Sri Lankan. Elephas maximus maximus(Sri Lankan elephant) is found only on the island of Sri Lanka. Named the Borneo pygmy elephant. it is smaller and tamer than any other Asian elephants. which plays a large role in protecting the Sri Lankan elephant from extinction. Population estimates for this group range from 2. Mature Sumatrans will usually only measure 1. It is very light grey in color and has less depigmentation than the other Asians.000 lb) and stand over 3. It is considerably smaller than its other Asian (and African) cousins and exists only on the island of Sumatra.000 kg (6. and belly have large concentrations of pink-speckled skin. face. with pink spots only on the ears.5 ft) at the shoulder and weigh less than 3. Elephas maximus sumatranus. Large males can weigh upward to 5.100 to 3. longer tail and straighter tusks. Large males will ordinarily weigh only about 5. a further subspecies was identified on Borneo.
. trunk. found only on Sumatra. with depigmentation only on the ears and trunk.600 lb). from India to Indonesia.000 individuals.
which means thick-skinned animals. If the desired food item is too high up. Elephants also suck up water to spray on their bodies during bathing. except for the very young or infirm. and for dominance displays. The elephant's trunk is sensitive enough to pick up a single blade of grass. the animals will then spray dirt and mud. or entire branches. and food sources.
Elephants are colloquially called pachyderms (from their original scientific classification). like a periscope. African elephants are equipped with two fingerlike projections at the tip of their trunk. it can determine the location of friends. the elephant will wrap its trunk around the tree or branch and shake its food loose or sometimes simply knock the tree down altogether. a raised trunk can be a warning or threat. elephants always use their trunks to tear up their food and then place it in their mouths. Elephants suck water up into the trunk—up to 14 litres (15 quarts) at a time—and then blow it into their mouths.The proboscis. much like a handshake. Most herbivores (plant eaters. is a fusion of the nose and upper lip. which dries and acts as a protective sunscreen. They also use them while play-wrestling. The trunk is also used for drinking. However. By raising the trunk up in the air and swiveling it from side to side.
This appendage also plays a key role in many social interactions. Familiar elephants will greet each other by entwining their trunks. Elephants can defend themselves very well by flailing their trunks at unwanted intruders or by grasping and flinging them. When swimming. caressing during courtship and mother-child interactions. like the elephant) possess teeth adapted for cutting and tearing off plant materials.
Some elephants have been afflicted by floppy trunk syndrome. They will graze on grass or reach up into trees to grasp leaves. On top of this watery coating. while Asians have only one. the trunk makes an excellentsnorkel.
elongated and specialized to become the
elephant's most important and versatile appendage. An elephant's skin is extremely tough around most parts of its body and measures
. while a lowered trunk can be a sign of submission. or trunk.
Skin of an African (left) and Asian (right) elephant. yet strong enough to rip the branches off a tree. fruit. enemies. An elephant also relies on its trunk for its highly developed sense of smell.
jump. but the Africans very often appear brown or reddish from wallowing in mud holes of colored soil. They do have two gaits: a walk and a faster gait that is similar to running. the skin around the mouth and inside of the ear is considerably thinner. African elephants have three nails on each hind foot. Indian elephants. but can pull its legs out readily because its feet become smaller when they are lifted. presumably in an effort to expose more skin to the air. the skin of an Asian is covered with more hair than its African counterpart. the elephant will usually use its trunk to blow soil on its body to help dry and bake on its new protective coat. the foot swells. This is most noticeable in the young. However. Although tough. but it will always remain on their heads and tails. they have very little of it. The elephant needs less muscular power to stand because of its straight legs and large padded feet. Since wild elephants live in very hot climates. Normally. an elephant's skin would suffer serious damage. The species of elephants are typically greyish in colour.about 2. lie down frequently. An elephant can sink deep into mud. protecting its skin from harsh ultraviolet radiation. In fact. The feet of an elephant are nearly round. an elephant's skin is very sensitive. Wallowing is an important behaviour in elephant society. Elephants have difficulty in releasing heat through the skin because.
. As they get older. Not only is it important for socialization. Asian calves are usually covered with a thick coat of brownish red fuzz. but cannot trot. gelatinous material that acts as a cushion or shock absorber.0 in) thick. as well as from insect bites and moisture loss. in contrast. and four on each front foot. After bathing.
An elephant's legs are roughly shaped like columns or pillars. African elephants rarely lie down unless they are sick or wounded. Under the elephant's weight. Wallowing also aids the skin in regulating body temperatures. As elephants are limited to smaller and smaller areas.5 centimetres (1. Without regular mud baths to protect it from burning. Indian elephants have four nails on each hind foot and five on each front foot. but the mud acts as a sunscreen. in proportion to their body size. but it gets smaller when the weight is removed. The ratio of an elephant's mass to the surface area of its skin is many times that of a human. Elephants have even been observed lifting up their legs to expose the soles of their feet. an elephant can stand for very long periods of time without tiring. Beneath the bones of the foot is a tough.
Legs and feet
Elephant using its feet to crush awatermelon before eating it. they must have other means of getting rid of excess heat. For this reason. and local herds will often come too close over the right to use these limited resources. there is less water available.
Elephants swim well. this hair darkens and becomes more sparse. or gallop. as they must be to support its bulk.
As both of the hind feet and both of the front feet are off the ground at the same time. the fastest At this speed. creating a slight breeze. The ears are also used in certain displays of aggression and during the males' mating period. In this gait.
Biology and behavior
The large flapping ears of an elephant are also very important for temperature regulation. with the hips and shoulders rising and falling while the foot is planted on the ground. Spring-like kinetics could explain the difference between the motion of elephants and other animals. Elephant ears are made of a very thin layer of skin stretched over cartilage and a rich network of blood vessels. and then the cooler blood gets circulated to the rest of the animal's body.In walking.
elephants have been reported to reach speeds up to 40 km/h
all the while using the same gait. Therefore. elephants will flap their ears constantly. they have bigger ears. Joyce Poole. the legs act as pendulums. If an elephant wants to intimidate a predator or rival. Differences in the ear sizes of African and Asian elephants can be explained. an elephant moving fast uses its legs much like other running animals. but 'walk' with their hind legs. this gait has been likened to the hind legs and the front legs taking turns running. most other four-legged creatures are
elephants reached a top speed of 18 km/h (11 mph). males give off an odor from the musth gland located behind their eyes. the faster gait does not meet all the criteria of running. Asians live farther north. However. Although they start this "run" at only 8 km/h. On hot days. in part. as elephants always have at least one foot on the ground.
Tests at the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre are reported to show that fast-moving
elephants 'run' with their front legs. In tests at the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre. by their geographical distribution. even accounting for leg length. (25 mph). With no "aerial phase". a well-known elephant researcher. in slightly cooler climates. Africans originated and stayed near the equator. with the hips and shoulders falling and then rising while the feet are on the ground.
well into a gallop. and thus have smaller ears. has theorized that the males will fan their ears in an effort to help propel this "elephant cologne" great distances. where it is warmer. The hot blood entering the ears can be cooled as much as 10 °F (6 °C) before returning to the body.
See also: Comparative foot morphology#Elephant foot
Difference between Asian (left) andAfrican (right) elephant ears. it will spread its ears out wide to make itself look more massive and imposing. This breeze cools the surface blood vessels. During the breeding season. an elephant will have three feet off the ground at one time.
000 years ago. and subpopulations. the female's life also involves interaction with other families.
This section needs additional citations for verification. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. clans. as well as a number of immature males and females. or matriarch. The ancestor of the elephants from 37 million years ago was aquatic and had a similar lifestyle to a hippopotamus.The skeleton of a dwarf elephant from the island of Crete. In addition to encountering the local males that live on the fringes of one or more groups. live mostly solitary lives. sisters. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. The females spend their entire lives in tightly knit family groups made up of mothers. (June 2011) Elephants live in a structured social order. Adult males. Most immediate family groups range from five to fifteen adults.
The earliest known ancestors of modern-day elephants evolved about 60 million years ago. Dwarf elephants were present on some Mediterranean islands until about 10. daughters. The social circle of the female elephant does not end with the small family unit. When a group gets too big.
Elephant footprints (tire tracks for scale)
. These groups are led by the eldest female. a few of the elder daughters will break off and form their own small group. and aunts. They remain very aware of which local herds are relatives and which are not. on the other hand. The social lives of male and female elephants are very different.
As he gets older. Only the most dominant males will be permitted to breed with cycling females. the mature male. The less dominant ones must wait their turns. and the occasional elephant is injured. In West with the Night. While males do live primarily solitary lives. However. they will occasionally form loose associations with other males. Eventually. Ordinarily. During this season. the battles can get extremely aggressive. younger. and somewhere around the age of fourteen. It is usually the older bulls. The dominance battles between males can look very fierce.
This section needs additional citations for verification. forty to fifty years old. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. the smaller. but typically they inflict very little injury. to the arrival of firearms. trying to find a receptive mate. he begins to spend more time at the edge of the herd. during the breeding season. days become weeks. gradually going off on his own for hours or days at a time. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. The males spend much more time than the females fighting for dominance with each other.The life of the adult male is very different. sets out from his natal group for good. These groups are called bachelor herds.
Elephant mating behaviour (2)
. and it will spend most of its time hovering around the female herds. She describes elephant herds containing multiple adult males as well as females. Kenyan Aviatrix Beryl Markham suggests the matriarchal society of elephants may be a recent adaptation. that do most of the breeding. (June 2011)
Elephant mating behaviour. Most of the bouts are in the form of aggressive displays and bluffs. known as musth. and less confident animal will back off before any real damage can be done. or bull. She further describes how the females attempted to hide the males (hunted disproportionately for their tusks) from hunters. since perhaps 1930. a bull will fight with almost any other male it encounters.
play. The male initiates the courtship and the female ignores him for several minutes. (1)-cerebrum (1a)-temporal lobeand (2)-cerebellum. In a rarely observed display of his affection.
compassion and self
Elephants are believed to rank equally in terms of intelligence with cetaceans
With a mass just over 5 kg (11 lb). art. elephant brains are larger than those of any other land animal. those between males result in a "companionship". such as nuzzling. The scent of the female (cow) elephant in heat (or estrus) attracts the male and she also uses audible signals to attract the male. The female elephant is not passive in the ritual and uses the same techniques as the male. attendant males. The encounters are analogous to heterosexual bouts. Elephants display a range of affectionate interactions. altruism. Same-sex relations are common and frequent in both sexes. use of tools. and placing their trunks in each other's mouths (image 2). African as well as Asiatic males will engage in same-sex bonding and mounting. Unlike heterosexual relations. As the female can usually outrun the male. The interactions may last for 20–30 minutes and do not necessarily result in the male mounting the female. though he may demonstrate arousal during the ritual. he may drape his trunk outside of his tusks during the ritual (image 1). awareness.The mating season is short and females are only able to conceive for a few days each year. making music. trunk intertwining. A wide variety of behaviours associated with intelligence have been attributed to elephants. consisting of an older individual and one or two younger. He then stops and starts again. which are always of a fleeting nature. she does not have to mate with every male that approaches her.
Main article: Elephant intelligence
Human. allomothering. with Asiatic elephants in captivity devoting roughly 46% of sexual encounters to same-sex activity. including those associated with grief. pilot whale and elephant brains up to scale. She will detach herself from the herd. one male often extending his trunk along the other's back and pushing forward with his tusks to signify his intention to mount.
The growl becomes a bellow when the mouth is open and a bellow becomes a moan when prolonged.
Elephants make a number of sounds when communicating. Elephants also make rumbling growls when greeting each other. However. bottlenose
and magpies. dolphins. which can travel in the air and through the ground much farther than
. which are made when the animal blows through its nostrils. which were visible only via the mirror.
A young elephant in Zimbabwe. apes. altruism and higher social interactions. Elephants can communicate over long distances by producing and receiving low-frequency sound (infrasound). but less complex than cetaceans. than that of humans. This shows that elephants recognize the fact that the image in the mirror is their own self. and most significantly feet. and an exceptional sense of hearing and smell. The hearing receptors reside not only in ears. the elephant brain exhibits a gyral pattern more complex and with more numerous convolutes.
The elephant's brain is similar to that of humans in terms of structure and
complexity. This can escalate with a roar when threatening another elephant or another animal. and such abilities are considered the basis for empathy.
in humans. or brain folds. Elephants communicate by sound over large distances of several kilometers partly through the ground. The elephants investigated these marks.primates or carnivores. Trumpeting is usually made during excitement. The eyesight of elephants is relatively poor. but also in trunks that are sensitive to vibrations. which have special receptors for low frequency sound and are exceptionally well innervated. which exceeds that of cetaceans.nonhuman primates. Elephants are famous for their trumpet calls.
Mirror self recognition is a test of self-awareness and cognition used in animal studies. which is important for their social lives. A mirror was provided and visible marks were made on the elephant. the
cortex of the elephant brain is "thicker than that of cetaceans" and is believed to have as many cortical neurons (nerve cells) and cortical synapses as that of humans. a sub-sonic rumbling. The tests also included invisible marks to rule out the possibility of their using other senses to detect these marks. Elephants are observed listening by putting trunks on the ground and carefully positioning their feet.
Elephants have well innervated trunks. Its use varies from startlement to a cry of help to rage.
The lifting presumably increases the ground contact and sensitivity of the remaining legs. when she comes into estrus. allowing communication for many kilometres. which pick up the resonant vibrations much as the flat skin on the head of a drum. elephants only digest approximately 40% of what they eat.
and is detailed in her book Silent Thunder. and fruits of trees and shrubs. To listen attentively. Pioneering research in elephant infrasound communication was done by Katy Payne. Females announce their estrus with smell signals and special calls. This is thought to be because they are so big they have to eat most of the time. bark. Their diets are highly variable. As is true for other nonruminant unglulates. every member of the herd will lift one foreleg from the ground.
Further information: Sleep (non-human) The average sleep time of an elephant is said to be only two plus hours per day. with a possible maximum range of around 10 km. A female will usually be ready to breed around the age of thirteen. but they may also eat considerable grasses and herbs. Discovery of this new aspect of elephant social communication and perception came with breakthroughs in audio technology. it is helping to solve many mysteries.
Joyce Poole has also begun decoding elephant utterances that have been recorded over many
years of observation. a short phase of receptiveness lasting a couple of days. This ability is thought also to aid their navigation by use of external sources of infrasound.
They make up for their
digestive systems' lack of efficiency in volume. which can pick up frequencies outside the range of the human ear. Though this
research is still in its infancy. These calls range in frequency from 15–35 Hz and can be as loud as 117 dB.
Reproduction and life cycle
Female elephant social life revolves around breeding and raising of the calves. both seasonally and across habitats and regions.
Elephants are herbivores. An adult elephant consumes 140–270 kg (300–600 lb) of food a day. hoping to create a lexicon based on a systematic catalogue of elephant sounds. and spend up to 16 hours a day eating plants. Elephants are primarily browsers.
This sound can be
felt by the sensitive skin of an elephant's feet and trunk. such as how elephants can find distant potential mates. and how social groups are able to coordinate their movements over extensive range. and face the source of the sound.higher frequencies. feeding on the leaves. or often lay its trunk on the ground. for the first time. of the Elephant Listening Project.
After the initial excitement. the mother gives birth to a calf that weighs about 115 kg (250 lb) and stands over 75 cm (2. leaving fewer teachers for the young. An elephant is considered an allomother when she is not able to have her own calf.
Females prefer bigger. these allomothers will help in all aspects of raising the calf. The baby is born nearly blind and at first relies almost completely on its trunk to discover the world around it. elephants use their tusks to dig into river beds to reach underground sources of water. After a twenty-two-month pregnancy. Elephants have a very long development. Providing a calf with nutritious milk means the mother has to eat more nutritious food herself. from poaching to habitat destruction. These changes tend to benefit grazers at the expense of browsers. and converting savannas to grasslands. Some of these pathways have apparently been used by several generations of elephants.5 ft) tall. breaking branches. and both positive and negative effects on other species especially with their foraging activities. the pressures humans have put on the wild elephant populations.Female African elephant with calf. helping the calves along if they fall or get stuck in the mud. inKenya. These holes may then become essential sources of water for other species. The more allomothers. Adults and most of the other young will gather around the newborn. Elephants make paths through their environment that are used by other animals. and. A new calf is usually the center of attention for herd members.
. a well known researcher. The consequences of this for the next generation are not known. or "allomothers".
walk with the young as the herd travels. mean that the elderly often die at a younger age. Dung beetles and termites both eat elephant feces. Today. converting forests to savannas. they reduce woody cover. they rely on their elders to teach them what they need to know. however. By pulling down trees to eat leaves. older males. According to Cynthia Moss. During the dry season. from her group. and all members of the tightly-knit female group participate in the care and protection of the young. creating clearings in forests. As is common with more intelligent species. and pulling out roots. Instead. most importantly. The more allomothers a calf has. touching and caressing it with their trunks. Such a reproductive strategy tends to increase their offspring's chances of survival. stronger. the mother will usually select several full-time baby-sitters. A benefit of being an allomother is that she can gain experience or receive assistance when caring for her own calf. Elephants within a herd are usually related.
Effect on the environment
Elephants can have profound impacts on the ecosystems they occupy. used by humans and eventually even been converted to roads. the more free time its mother has to feed herself. they are born with fewer survival instincts than many other animals. the better the calf's chances of survival.
which has caused the elephant 300. prompting an international ivory ban. lions. and it takes many years for an elephant to grow and reproduce.
drop to approximately 10.000. As large predators are hunted. occasionally. and the small number of permits issued (usually for older animals) ensure that populations are not depleted. largely caused by the ivory trade. c. 1900
Main article: Ivory trade The threat to the African elephant presented by the ivory trade is unique to the species. Larger. They cannot hide. to
population of the region.3 million to around 600. The large amount of money that is charged for the necessary permits is often used to support conservation efforts.889 in 1951 to 348 in 2006. it is estimated that elephants numbered between 5 and 10 million. The increased number of herbivores ravage the local trees. and grasses. slow-breeding animals.000 in 1970. but hunting and habitat destruction had reduced their numbers to 400. which exceeded today.Men with African elephant tusks. many African governments legally allow limited hunting. and populations in even some protected areas are in danger of being eliminated
Chad has a decades-old history of poaching of elephants.
ten years preceding 1990 the population more than halved from 1.
At the turn of the 20th century. parts of southern and eastern Africa.000 by the end of the century. the number of elephants living
in the observable area of the park fell from 2. in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. long-lived.000
In Virunga National Park.
While elephant populations are increasing in
other African nations report a decrease of their elephant populations
by as much as two-thirds. Elephants themselves have few natural predators besides man and. like the elephant. are more susceptible to overhunting than other animals.
. Dar es Salaam. shrubs. the local small grazer populations (the elephant's food competitors) find themselves on the rise.000 to 500. However. An elephant needs an average of 140 kg (300 lb) of vegetation a day to survive.
elephants can inflict an enormous amount of damage to the local landscapes.
The Asian elephants' demise can be attributed mostly to loss of its habitat. When confined to small territories. The initial suspicion is the elephants had eaten fertilizer spread around trees in the plantation. some reserves. while others. quickly destroying all the vegetation in an area. The trees are responsible for anchoring soil and absorbing water runoff.
Nevertheless. Once a reserve is established and fences erected. Floods and massive erosion are common results of deforestation.
As larger patches of forest disappear. four elephants died and based on the autopsy of one of them there was a high content of nitrogen in its body. eliminating all their resources. at the expense of other species of wildlife within the reserve.
Africa's first official reserve. when the area has regrown. many animals find themselves cut off from their winter feeding grounds or spring breeding areas. the South Africa announced that they would reintroduce culling for the first time since 1994 to control elephant numbers although no cull has yet taken place. As forests are reduced to small pockets. elephants become part of the problem. elephants range through a wide tract of land with little regard for national borders. suffered from elephant overcrowding. much like the slash-and-burn farmers. For example. Some animals may die as a result. such as Kruger National Park has.Another threat to elephants' survival in general is the ongoing cultivation of their habitats with increasing risk of conflicts of interest with human cohabitants. The elephants may have been after the salt in the fertilizer and that would have led to their deaths. they are used to crashing through the forest.
At Bengkulu province in Indonesia. like the elephants. the ecosystem is affected in profound ways. many problems associated with the establishment of these
reserves. eventually became one of the world's most famous and successful national parks.
There are. wreaking havoc in nearby fields. tearing down trees and shrubs for food and then cycling back later on. Kruger National Park. it becomes very clear that these parks may be the elephants' last hope against the rapidly changing world around them. however. Elephants need massive tracts of land because. as scientists learn more about
nature and the environment.
Humans and elephants
. may just trample over the fences. in the opinion of wildlife managers. These conflicts kill 150 elephants and up to 100 people per year in Sri Lanka. On 25 February 2008.
could be dramatic. has had some unexpected consequences on elephant anatomy as well. The propagation of the absent-tusk gene has resulted in the birth of large numbers of tuskless elephants. tear apart vegetation. India
Indian(?) elephant. elephant behaviour could change dramatically. Tusklessness. The effect of tuskless elephants on the environment.
 
. circa 1400. have given a much larger chance of mating to elephants with small tusks or no tusks at all. if unlikely. has become a
Domestication and use
. and spar with one another for mating rights. by killing only tusked elephants. and on the elephants themselves. from a Lombardymanuscript. once a rare genetic abnormality. African ivory hunters. that continued selection pressure could bring about a complete absence of tusks in African elephants.Elephant pillar carvings at Kailash Temple[disambiguation needed]. It is possible. Without tusks. Elephants use their tusks to root around in the ground for necessary minerals.
Elephant hunting. both legal and illegal. now approaching 30% in some populations (compare with a rate of about 1% in 1930) widespread hereditary trait.
the majority of which work in the Xaignabouli province. and about 500 domesticated elephants are still employed. A study shows that the lifespan of elephants in European zoos is about half as long as those living in protected areas in Africa and Asia. It is generally more economical to capture wild young elephants and tame them than to breed them in captivity (see also elephant "crushing").
The Laotians have been domesticating elephants for centuries. as female elephants in battle will run from a male. About 1200 elephants are kept in western zoos. Seals found in the Indus Valley suggest that the elephant was first domesticated in ancient India. However. thus allowingAsian elephants the ability to supply their mahouts with income while still allowing them to breed. the oldest living African elephant in captivity
Elephants are revered in India (and are worshipped in ceremonies such as the Aanayoottu). India.Elephants are used to entertain tourists at some beaches as atHavelock Island. elephants have never been truly domesticated: the male elephant in his periodic condition of musth is dangerous and difficult to control. Therefore.
As of July 2010.
Elephants have been working animals used in various capacities by humans.
. war elephants being an exception.Elefantasia is a local INGO aiming to reconvert logging elephants into ecotourism practices. Elephants are also commonly exhibited in zoos and wild animal parks. only males could be used in war. is Ruaha (59) at Zoo Basel . with ecotourism emerging as a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative.
The Judean rebel Eleazar
a Seleucid war
manuscriptSpeculum Humanae Salvationis). elephants used by humans have typically been female. These elephants are mainly employed in the logging industry.
especially for uprooting trees and moving logs. A notable example of a battle using elephants in Southeast Asia is Yuttahadhi. he probably used a now-extinct third African subspecies. India. although his horse cavalry was quite successful.
. the North African forest elephant. but brought too few elephants to be of much military use. A large elephant in full charge could cause tremendous damage to infantry. elephants were used in the military for heavy labour. the powerful Khmer Empire had come to regional dominance by the 9th century AD. In the Southeast Asia.
Elephant work camp inThailand. Elephants are used for heavy forest work and in circus presentations. and cavalry horses would be afraid of them (see Battle of Hydaspes). drawing heavily on the use of war elephants. smaller than its two southern cousins. the successor region powers of Burma (now Myanmar) and Siam (now Thailand) also adopted the widespread use of war elephants. With the collapse of Khmer power in the 15th century. and most of South Asia. Siam.
The Carthaginian general Hannibal took elephants across the Alps when he was fighting the Romans.
Throughout Myanmar (Burma). and were also commonly used as executioners to crush the condemned underfoot. and later by the Persian Empire. notably in the Ptolemaic and Seleuciddiadoch empires. and presumably easier to domesticate. This use was adopted by Hellenistic armies after Alexander the Great experienced their worth against King Porus. the Warring States of China.Elephants in use by Indian cavalry
Main article: War elephant War elephants were used by armies in the Indian subcontinent.
300 people were killed by elephants between 2000 and 2004.
Main article: Musth Adult male elephants naturally periodically enter the state called musth (Hindi for "madness"). sometimes spelled "must" in English. Thought to be symptomatic of stress disorders. and again locals believed the reason was drunkenness. 239 people were reported killed by elephants between 2001 and 2006. especially Indian shikar (mainly on tigers). even the rhinoceros. They can crush and kill any other land animal.
. Elephants in musth display highly aggressive behavior and elevated levels of reproductive hormones. Although locals reported that nearby elephants had recently been observed drinking beer which rendered them "unpredictable". officials considered it the least likely explanation for the attack. destroying homes and killing people regularly. while Asian elephants have been used for transport and entertainment.
male elephants attack villages at night. Purportedly drunk elephants raided yet another Indian village again on
December 2002. a 30-year-old Asian elephant raised in captivity at the San Diego Zoo exhibiting "rocking behavior" (animation).  rocking behavior may be a precursor to aggressive behavior in captive elephants. and portrayal as gentle giants in fiction.
In India. a rhythmic and repetitive swaying which is unreported in free ranging wild elephants. and as ceremonial mounts for royal and religious occasions.
An attack on another
Indian village occurred in October 1999.
Despite their popularity in zoos. but again the theory was not widely accepted. elephants are among the world's most dangerous animals. and engage in actions that have been interpreted as vindictive. although there is no confirmed evidence of this. They can experience bouts of rage.
In Africa. killing six people.Elephants have also been used as mounts for safari-type hunting. a herd of elephants overran a village in India. and in Assam.
Devi (little princess). and probably made worse by a barren environment.
Local people have reported their belief that some elephants were drunk during their attacks. groups
of young teenage elephants attacked human villages after cullings done in the 1970s and 80s. which led to the killing of about 200 elephants by locals. In December 1998. In the Indian state of Jharkhand.
theory was not widely accepted. which led to the killing of about 200 elephants by locals.
. killing six people. Purportedly drunk elephants raided yet another Indian village again on December 2002.