Indian elephant

The Indian elephant (Elephas maximus indicus) is one of three extant recognized subspecies of the Asian elephant and native to mainland Asia.[2]

Since 1986, the Asian elephant has been listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List as the wild population has declined by at least 50% since the 1930s to 1940s, i.e. three elephant generations. The Asian elephant is threatened by habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation.[1]

Indian elephant
Elephas maximus (Bandipur)
Tusked male, Bandipur National Park
Female, Nagarhole National Park

Endangered (IUCN 3.1)[1] subspecific status not assessed-->
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Proboscidea
Family: Elephantidae
Genus: Elephas
E. m. indicus
Trinomial name
Elephas maximus indicus
(Cuvier), 1798


In general, Asian elephants are smaller than African elephants and have the highest body point on the head. The tip of their trunk has one finger-like process. Their back is convex or level.[2] Indian elephants reach a shoulder height of between 2 and 3.5 m (6.6 and 11.5 ft), weigh between 2,000 and 5,000 kg (4,400 and 11,000 lb), and have 19 pairs of ribs. Their skin colour is lighter than of maximus with smaller patches of depigmentation, but darker than of sumatranus. Females are usually smaller than males, and have short or no tusks.[3]

The largest Indian elephant was 3.43 m (11.3 ft) high at the shoulder.[4] In 1985, two large elephant bulls were spotted for the first time in Bardia National Park, and named Raja Gaj and Kanchha. They roamed the park area together and occasionally visited female herds. Raja Gaj stood 3.43 m (11.3 ft) tall at the shoulder and had a massive body weight. His forehead and domes were more prominent than in other Asian bull elephants.[5] His appearance has been compared to that of a Stegodon and mammoth due to his high bi-domed shaped head.[6]

Indian elephants have smaller ears, but relatively broader skulls and larger trunks than African elephants. Toes are large and broad. Unlike their African cousins, their abdomen is proportionate with their body weight but the African elephant has a large abdomen as compared to the skulls.

Distribution and habitat

Wild elephants, Munnar
Wild elephants in Munnar, Kerala
An elephant herd at Jim Corbett National Park
An elephant herd in Jim Corbett National Park
Indian Elephants
Elephants bathing at Madumalai Elephant Camp

The Indian elephant is native to mainland Asia: India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Malay Peninsula, Laos, China, Cambodia, and Vietnam. It is regionally extinct in Pakistan.[1] It inhabits grasslands, dry deciduous, moist deciduous, evergreen and semi-evergreen forests. In the early 1990s, the estimated wild populations included:[7]

Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) (7852943934)
A tusked male at Khao Yai National Park, Thailand
  • 2,500–3,200 in Thailand, mainly in the mountains along the border with Myanmar, with smaller fragmented populations occurring in the peninsula in the south;
  • 2,100–3,100 in Malaysia;
  • 500–1,000 Laos, where they remain widely but patchily distributed in forested areas, both in the highlands and lowlands;
  • 200–250 in China, where they survive only in the prefectures of Xishuangbanna, Simao, and Lincang of southern Yunnan;
  • 250–600 in Cambodia, where they primarily inhabit the mountains of the south-west and in Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri Provinces;
  • 70–150 in the southern parts of Vietnam.

Elephant corridors

There are a total of 138 state elephant corridors, 28 interstate corridors and 17 international state corridors where Indian elephant populations are found. The table below enlists the corridors.[10]

Region-wise Distribution of Corridors
Region Number of Corridors Area (km2) Elephant Population percentage
North-East 58 41000 33
East 54 23500 10
North 8 5500 4
South 46 40000 53

Ecology and behaviour

Wild Elephant by N A Nazeer
Wild Indian Elephants

Elephants are classified as megaherbivores and consume up to 150 kg (330 lb) of plant matter per day.[11] They are generalist feeders, and both grazers and browsers. In a study area of 1,130 km2 (440 sq mi) in southern India, elephants were recorded to feed on 112 different plant species, most commonly of the order Malvales, and the legume, palm, sedge and true grass families. They graze on the tall grasses, but the portion consumed varies with season. When the new flush appears in April, they remove the tender blades in small clumps. Later, when grasses are higher than 0.5 m (1.6 ft), they uproot entire clumps, dust them skilfully and consume the fresh leave tops, but discard the roots. When grasses are mature in autumn, they clean and consume the succulent basal portions with the roots, and discard the fibrous blades. From the bamboos, they eat seedlings, culms and lateral shoots. During the dry season from January to April, they mainly browse on both leaves and twigs preferring the fresh foliage, and consume thorn bearing shoots of acacia species without any obvious discomfort. They feed on the bark of white thorn and other flowering plants, and consume the fruits of wood apple, tamarind, kumbhi and date palm.[12]

In Nepal's Bardia National Park, elephants consume large amounts of the floodplain grass, particularly during the monsoon season. They browse more in the dry season with bark constituting a major part of their diet in the cool part of that season.[13] During a study in a tropical moist mixed deciduous forested area of 160 km2 (62 sq mi) in Assam, elephants were observed to feed on about 20 species of grasses, plants and trees. Grasses such as Imperata cylindrica and Leersia hexandra constituted by far the most predominant component of their diet.[14]

Kui Buri National Park (Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, Thailand
A herd of wild elephant at Kui Buri National Park, Thailand

The movement and habitat utilisation patterns of an elephant population were studied in southern India during 1981–83 within a 1,130 km2 (440 sq mi) study area. The vegetation types of this area encompasses dry thorn forest at 250 to 400 m (820 to 1,310 ft), deciduous forest at 400 to 1,400 m (1,300 to 4,600 ft), stunted evergreen forest and grassland at 1,400 to 1,800 m (4,600 to 5,900 ft). Five different elephant clans, each consisting of between 50 and 200 individuals had home ranges of between 105 km2 (41 sq mi) and 320 km2 (120 sq mi), which overlapped. They preferred habitat where water was available and food plants were palatable. During the dry months of January to April, they congregated at high densities of up to five individuals per km2 in river valleys where browse plants had a much higher protein content than the coarse tall grasses on hill slopes. With the onset of rains in May, they dispersed over a wider area at lower densities, largely into the tall grass forests, to feed on the fresh grasses, which then had a high protein value. During the second wet season from September to December, when the tall grasses became fibrous, they moved into lower elevation short grass open forests. The normal movement pattern could be upset during years of adverse environmental conditions. However, the movement pattern of elephants in this region has not basically changed for over a century, as inferred from descriptions recorded during the 19th century.[15]

In the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve three elephant clans had overall home ranges of 562 km2 (217 sq mi), 670 km2 (260 sq mi) and 799 km2 (308 sq mi) in the beginning of the 1990s. During three years of survey, their annual home ranges overlapped to a large extent with only minor shifts in the home ranges between years.[16]


Mudumalai forest elephant
Prime elephant habitat consists of forested areas
Elephas maximus calf injured (Nagarhole, 2010)
A calf in the Nagarhole National Park with injuries on the head indicating a possible attack by a leopard or a tiger
Ivory chopsticks

The pre-eminent threats to Asian elephants today are habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation, which are driven by an expanding human population, and lead in turn to increasing conflicts between humans and elephants when elephants eat or trample crops.[1] Loss of significant extents of elephant range and suitable habitat continues; their free movement is impeded by reservoirs, hydroelectric projects and associated canals, irrigation dams, numerous pockets of cultivation and plantations, highways, railway lines, mining and industrial development.[7]

Poaching of elephants for ivory is a serious threat in some parts of Asia. Poaching of tuskers impacts on sex ratios that become highly female biased; genetic variation is reduced, and fecundity and recruitment may decline.[7] Poaching has dramatically skewed adult sex ratios in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, where between 1969 and 1989 the adult male:female sex ratio changed from 1:6 to 1:122.[17]

Elephant conservation in northern West Bengal has been set back due to high-levels of human–elephant conflict and elephant mortality owing to railway accidents. The railway track between Siliguri and Alipurduar passes through 74 km (46 mi) of various forest divisions. Every day, 20 trains run on this track at high speeds. Elephants that pass through from one forest patch to another dash against the trains and die. A total of 39 dead elephants were reported during the period of 1958 to 2008, of which ten were reported killed between 2004 and 2008.[18]

In Bangladesh, forested areas that served as prime elephant habitat have undergone drastic reduction, which had a severe impact on the wild elephant population. Habitat loss and fragmentation is attributed to the increasing human population and its need for fuel wood and timber. Illegal timber extraction plays a significant role in deforestation and habitat degradation. As a result of the shrinking habitat, elephants have become more and more prone to coming into direct conflict with humans.[19]

In Myanmar, demand for elephant ivory for making tourist items is higher than ever before. The military government shows little interest in reducing the ivory trade, while the elephants in the country have become the silent victims. After the worldwide ivory ban, prices of raw ivory in the country skyrocketed from $76 a kilo for large tusks in 1989/90 to over $200 a kilo by the mid-1990s. Foreign tourists are responsible for the massive rise in price of ivory tusks which fuels the illegal killing of elephants. There is also a sizeable trade in ivory chopsticks and carvings, smuggled by traders from Myanmar into China.[20]

Young wild-born elephants are removed from their mothers in Myanmar for use in Thailand's tourism industry. Mothers are often killed in the process, and calves are placed alongside unrelated cows to suggest they are with their mothers.[21] The calves are often subjected to a 'breaking in' process, which may involve being tied up, confined, starved, beaten and tortured, as a result of which two-thirds may perish.[22]


Elephant Raju at Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, Visakhapatnam
Elephant Raju at Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, Visakhapatnam

Elephas maximus is listed on CITES Appendix I.[1] Project Elephant was launched in 1992 by the Government of India Ministry of Environment and Forests to provide financial and technical support of wildlife management efforts by states for their free ranging populations of wild Asian Elephants. The project aims to ensure long-term survival of viable conservation reliant populations of elephants in their natural habitats by protecting the elephants, their habitats and migration corridors. Other goals of Project Elephant are supporting research of the ecology and management of elephants, creating conservation awareness among local people, providing improved veterinary care for captive elephants.[23][24]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Choudhury, A.; Lahiri Choudhury, D. K.; Desai, A.; Duckworth, J. W.; Easa, P. S.; Johnsingh, A. J. T.; Fernando, P.; Hedges, S.; Gunawardena, M.; Kurt, F., Karanth, U. Lister, A., Menon, V., Riddle, H., Rübel, A. & Wikramanayake, E. (IUCN SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group) (2008). "Elephas maximus". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2008: e.T7140A12828813. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T7140A12828813.en. Retrieved 29 October 2018.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ a b Shoshani, J.; Eisenberg, J. F. (1982). "Elephas maximus" (PDF). Mammalian Species (182): 1–8. doi:10.2307/3504045. JSTOR 3504045.
  3. ^ Shoshani, J. (2006). "Taxonomy, Classification, and Evolution of Elephants". In Fowler, M. E., Mikota, S. K. (eds.) (eds.). Biology, medicine, and surgery of elephants. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 3–14. ISBN 0-8138-0676-3.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
  4. ^ Pillai, N.G. (1941). "On the height and age of an elephant". Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. 42: 927–928.
  5. ^ Furaha tenVelde, P. (1997). "The wild elephants of the Royal Bardia National Park, Nepal" (PDF). Gajah: Journal of the IUCN/SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group (17): 41–44.
  6. ^ Ben S. Roesch. "Living Stegodont or Genetic Freak?". Archived from the original on 8 November 2006. Retrieved 18 June 2008.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  7. ^ a b c d Sukumar, R. (1993). The Asian Elephant: Ecology and Management Second edition. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-43758-X
  8. ^ "Elephant Reserves". ENVIS Centre on Wildlife & Protected Areas. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  9. ^ Bhatta, S. R. (2006). Efforts to conserve the Asian elephant in Nepal. Gajah: Journal of the IUCN/SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group 25: 87–89.
  10. ^ "Elephant Corridors of India" (PDF).
  11. ^ Samansiri, K. A. P., Weerakoon, D. K. (2007). Feeding Behaviour of Asian Elephants in the Northwestern Region of Sri Lanka. Gajah: Journal of the IUCN/SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group. Number 2: 27–34
  12. ^ Sukumar, R. (1990). Ecology of the Asian Elephant in southern India. II. Feeding habits and crop raiding patterns Archived 12 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Journal of Tropical Ecology (1990) 6: 33–53.
  13. ^ Pradhan, N.M.B., Wegge, P., Moe, S.R., Shrestha, A.K. (2008). Feeding ecology of two endangered sympatric megaherbivores: Asian elephant Elephas maximus and greater one-horned rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis in lowland Nepal. Wildlife Biology 14: 147–154.
  14. ^ Borah, J., Deka, K. (2008). Nutritional Evaluation of Forage Preferred by Wild Elephants in the Rani Range Forest, Assam, India. Gajah: Journal of the IUCN/SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group 28: 41–43.
  15. ^ Sukumar, R. (1989). Ecology of the Asian elephant in southern India. l. Movement and habitat utilization patterns Archived 20 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Journal of Tropical Ecology 5: 1–18.
  16. ^ Baskaran, N., Desai, A. A. (1996). Ranging behaviour of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, South India. Gajah: Journal of the IUCN/SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group 15: 41–57.
  17. ^ Chandran, P. M. (1990). Population dynamics of elephants in Periyar Tiger Reserve. Pages 51–56 in: C. K. Karunakaran (ed.) Proceedings of the Symposium on Ecology, Behaviour and Management of Elephants in Kerala. Kerala Forest Department, Trivandrum, India.
  18. ^ Roy, M. Baskaran, N., Sukumar, R. (2009). The Death of Jumbos on Railway Tracks in Northern West Bengal. Gajah: Journal of the IUCN/SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group 31: 36–39.
  19. ^ Islam, M.–A. (2006). Conservation of the Asian elephant in Bangladesh. Gajah: Journal of the IUCN/SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group 25: 21–26.
  20. ^ Vigne, L., Martin, E. (2002). Myanmar’s ivory trade threatens wild elephants. Gajah: Journal of the IUCN/SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group 21: 85–86.
  21. ^ Shand, M. (21 July 2012). "The agonising blows that expose the evil secrets of Thailand's elephant tourism con: The Duchess of Cornwall's brother tells how baby elephants are brutally starved and tortured". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  22. ^ "Tourism driving illegal elephant trade in Burma and Thailand – video". London. 24 July 2012.
  23. ^ "Project Elephant". Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  24. ^ "Project Elephant". Government of India. Retrieved 30 January 2016.

Further reading

  • G. P. Sanderson (1907) Thirteen years among the wild beasts of India: their haunts and habits from personal observation : with an account of the modes of capturing and taming elephants. John Grant, Edinburgh. 8th edition in 2000 by Asian Educational Services, New Delhi. ISBN 81-206-1464-X. ISBN 978-81-206-1464-2

External links


Abul-Abbas (also Abul Abaz or Abulabaz) was an Asian elephant given to Carolingian emperor Charlemagne by the Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid. The elephant's name and events from his life are recorded in the Carolingian Annales regni Francorum, and he is mentioned in Einhard's Vita Karoli Magni. However, no references to the gift or to interactions with Charlemagne have been found in Abbasid records.

Balphakram National Park

Balpakram National Park is a national park at about 3000ft. above sea level, near the Garo Hills in Meghalaya, India. Balpakram is located between latitudes 25°20' N and 25°30' N, and longitudes 90°45' E to 91° E . The Balpakram National Park is located to the extreme South of Garo Hills, Meghalaya at a distance of 62 km from Baghmara, the district headquarters of South Garo Hills and 167 km from nearest major townTura. This pocket of pristine beauty named Balpakram National Park is also close to the international boundary of Bangladesh. It is often compared to the Grand Canyon National Park of United States. It is often referred to as the "abode of perpetual winds" as well as the "land of spirits. It is believed that here, the spirits of the dead dwell temporarily before embarking on the final journey. Balpakram is sacred to the Garos as the abode of the dead spirits." It is the home of the barking deer and the golden cat. Commonly seen animals include wild water buffalo, red panda, elephant and eight species of cats including tiger and marbled cat. Balpakram, land of the eternal wind, according to Garo myth, has a very beautiful landscape and one of the best Canyon around the region. It is famous for unique land formations with surround the mythological stories of the Garos. Declared a national park by the Government of India, it is now a protected place and permission has to be sought from the wildlife authorities before entering. It has some unique plants species including the ones mentioned and the corridor for the Indian elephant. Balpakram was inaugurated as a National Park on 27 December 1987.

Barely Legal (Banksy)

"'Barely Legal" was a show by graffiti artist Banksy, held in an industrial warehouse in Los Angeles, California in 2006. The free show was held over the weekend of the 16th September 2006.

Part of the exhibition was a 37-year old Indian elephant which was painted to match the wallpaper in the room it was placed. As the show was meant to address important issues such as poverty, which is ignored by most people, the animal refers to the metaphor of the elephant in the room.

While in Los Angeles the artist also targeted Disneyland in Anaheim, where he disposed of a figure dressed up as a prisoner from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp behind on one of the rides. Meant to draw attention to the situation in the camp, where several months earlier three inmates had committed suicide, it was taken down after approximately 90 minutes. A video of the artist placing the figure in the theme park could also be seen at the exhibition.

Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary

Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is located at 15°30′23″N 74°23′30″E in Uttara Kannada District of Karnataka state in India. The sanctuary covers an area of 866.41 km2 (334.52 sq mi).

Along with neighboring Anshi National Park (339.87 square kilometres (83,980 acres)), the sanctuary was declared part of the Anshi Dandeli Tiger Reserve in 2006. Karnataka state government has officially notified the Dandeli Elephant Reserve under Project Elephant on 4 June 2015. The elephant reserve is spread over 2,321 km2, including 475 km2 as core and the remaining as buffer areas. This is the second elephant reserve in Karnataka after Mysuru Elephant Reserve, which was declared in 2002.Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is a birdwatchers paradise, housing nearly 200 species of birds, most famous for the great hornbill (great Indian hornbill or great pied hornbill) and the Malabar pied hornbill. It is also the only known tiger reserve in India to report frequent sightings of the elusive black panther. It is also known to house the Indian sloth bear, the Indian pangolin, the giant Malabar squirrel, dhole, the Indian jackal and the muntjac (barking deer). Sightings of the Indian elephant and the Indian peafowl are pretty common. The king cobra and the mugger crocodile (Indian crocodile) are the prime reptilians in Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary.

The forests in Dandeli are a mixture of dense deciduous trees interspersed with bamboo and teak plantations.

Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary

Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary in Bargarh district, Odisha, India.It is situated near hirakud dam.

Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary, an important site for in-situ conservation of wildlife and its habitat in the state of Odisha is home to an immense array of biodiversity, over 40 species of mammals, 234 species of

birds, 41 species of reptiles, 12 species of amphibians, 42 species of fishes, 39 species of odonates, 85 species of

butterflies and 38 species of spiders and extremely important in the national context because of significant population of Schedule-I species like Leopard, Indian Gaur and Four-horned Antelope. The fauna includes Indian leopard, Indian elephant, sambar, chital, and gaur.

The sanctuary is fringed on the east and north by the huge man-made water body of

Hirakud reservoir, thus forming one of the select few sanctuaries in the state supporting both terrestrial and aquatic

biodiversity; which further attracts a significant number of migratory waterfowl during winter; and also this Wildlife

Sanctuary is home to over 250 plant species, many of which have ethno-botanical and medicinal value;

Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary as Eco-sensitive Zone from ecological and environmental point of view and to prohibit industries or class of industries and their

operations and processes in the said Eco-sensitive Zone;

Elephants in ancient China

The existence of elephants in ancient China is attested both by archaeological evidence and by depictions in Chinese artwork. Long thought to belong to an extinct subspecies of Asian elephants, named Elephas maximus rubridens, they lived in Central and Southern China before the 14th century BC. They once occurred as far north as Anyang, Henan in northern China. The elephant is mentioned in the earliest received texts, including the Shijing, Liji, and Zuozhuan. The oracle bone script and bronzeware script glyphs for elephant are pictographic depictions of an animal with a long trunk. Their modern descendant is the regular script character 象 (Standard Modern Chinese, xiàng).

In December 2012, a study by a team of scientists from China reported that the elephant living in China in ancient times (Shang and Zhou dynasties) could not have been a subspecies of the Asian elephant, as previously thought, but probably belonged to the genus Palaeoloxodon. P. namadicus were distributed among Asia, but it is unclear if the mysterious elephants of northern China were remnants of P. namadicus or a unique species of their own. This conclusion was reached after studying remains of Chinese elephant molars and tusks from the Holocene epoch, as well as examining ritual bronzes from the Shang and Zhou dynasties, which all depicted elephants with two 'fingers' on the tip of their trunk (whereas the Indian elephant only has one 'finger'). Fossil elephant experts Victoria Herridge and Adrian Lister disagree with the assignment, stating that the claimed diagnostic dental features are actually contrast artifacts, created due to the low resolution of the figures in the scientific paper, and are not evident in better quality photographs.Elephants still survived in the southwestern provinces of China after the extinction of the Chinese elephant, but they are of a different subspecies, the Indian elephant, Elephas maximus indicus. A native population of these remains in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan province.


A Heffalump is a type of elephant-like character in the Winnie the Pooh stories by A. A. Milne. Heffalumps are mentioned, and only appear, in Pooh and Piglet's dreams in Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and seen again in The House at Pooh Corner (1928). Physically, they resemble elephants; Shepard's illustration shows an Indian elephant. They are later featured in the animated television series The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1988–1991), followed by two animated films in 2005, Pooh's Heffalump Movie and Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie.

Hukawng Valley Tiger Reserve

Hukawng Valley Tiger Reserve (Burmese: ဟူကောင်း ကျား ထိန်းသိမ်းရေး နယ်မြေ [hùkáʊɴ tɕá tʰéɪɴ θéɪɴ jé nɛ̀ mjè]) is a wildlife reserve located in Hukawng Valley, near Tanai in Myitkyina District of Kachin State, Burma (Myanmar). Hukawng Valley Tiger Reserve covers 21890 km². The Burmese government has also designated 6500 km² of the valley as the protected forest reserve. It is the world's largest tiger reserve.According to a report by the Wildlife Conservation Society released in October 2010, only 50 tigers remain in Hukawng valley. The reserve also consists of 35 kinds of mammals such as Indochinese tiger, Indochinese leopard, Indian elephant, bear and species of monkeys, over 370 species of birds, 46 species of frogs, 37 species of fresh water fish, four species of turtle, species of butterflies and 13,500 plant species.The Wildlife Conservation Society has been criticized for its role in the reserve, particularly in blaming indigenous peoples for environmental damage despite evidence that gold mining in the reserve is devastating the tigers' habitat. More than 200,000 acres of land in Hukawng Valley are being used for gold mining, causing environmental damage.


Kabumpo, the Elegant Elephant of Pumperdink, is a fictional character in the Oz books of Ruth Plumly Thompson.


A khedda (or Kheddah) or the Khedda system was a stockade trap for the capture of a full herd of elephants that was used in India; other methods were also used to capture single elephants. The elephants were driven into the stockade by skilled mahouts mounted on domesticated elephants. This method was practiced widely in North-east India, particularly in the state of Assam, mostly in South India, and in particular in the erstwhile Mysore State (now part of Karnataka) state.The khedda practice and other methods of trapping or capturing elephants have been discontinued since 1973 following the enactment of a law under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, declaring the Indian elephant to be a highly endangered species. In the case of elephants which cause extensive damage by encroaching into human habitations and damaging crops, the forest department has the authority to capture them.


Kosik can refer to:

Kosik (elephant), an Indian elephant popular imitating Korean words

Košík, village and municipality of Czech Republic

Karel Kosík, Czech philosopher

Rafał Kosik, Polish writer

Ligament of head of femur

In human anatomy, the ligament of the head of the femur (round ligament of the femur, ligamentum teres femoris, or the foveal ligament) is a ligament located in the hip. It is triangular in shape and somewhat flattened. The ligament is implanted by its apex into the antero-superior part of the fovea capitis femoris and its base is attached by two bands, one into either side of the acetabular notch, and between these bony attachments it blends with the transverse ligament.It is ensheathed by the synovial membrane, and varies greatly in strength in different subjects; occasionally only the synovial fold exists, and in rare cases even this is absent.The ligament of the head of the femur contains within it the acetabular branch of the obturator artery.

List of Indian state animals

India, officially the Republic of India is a country in South Asia. It is made up of 29 states and 7 union territories. All Indian states have their own government and theUnion territories come under the jurisdiction of the Central Government. As most of the other countries India too has a national emblem—the Lion Capital of Sarnath.

Apart from India's national emblem, each of its States and Union Territories have their own state seals and symbols which include state animals, birds, trees, flowers etc. A list of state animals of India is given below. See Symbols of Indian states and territories for a complete list of all State characters and seals.

Mudumalai National Park

The Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary also a declared tiger reserve, lies on the northwestern side of the Nilgiri Hills (Blue Mountains), in Nilgiri District, about 150 kilometres (93 mi) north-west of Coimbatore city in Tamil Nadu. It shares its boundaries with the states of Karnataka and Kerala. The sanctuary is divided into five ranges – Masinagudi, Thepakadu, Mudumalai, Kargudi and Nellakota.

The protected area is home to several endangered and vulnerable species including Indian elephant, Bengal tiger, gaur and Indian leopard. There are at least 266 species of birds in the sanctuary, including critically endangered Indian white-rumped vulture and long-billed vulture.The Western Ghats Nilgiri Sub-Cluster of 6,000 square kilometres (2,300 sq mi), including all of Mudumalai National Park, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.

Protected areas of Kerala

The protected areas of Kerala include a wide range of biomes, extending east from the coral reefs, estuaries, salt marshes, mangroves and beaches of the Arabian Sea through the tropical moist broadleaf forests of the Malabar Coast moist forests to the North Western Ghats moist deciduous forests and South Western Ghats moist deciduous forests to South Western Ghats montane rain forests on the western border of Tamil Nadu in the Western Ghats. Most protected areas throughout its 14 districts are under the stewardship of the Kerala Forest Department and like all other protected areas of India receive support from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (India).


Surus ("the Syrian") was believed to be the last war elephant of Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca's army in Italy. Several Roman writers give accounts of Surus, which was probably a large Asian elephant with one tusk. Although a Carthaginian coin struck in the time of Hannibal depicts an African elephant, historians believe Surus was an Indian elephant descended from those seized by Ptolemies of Egypt, Alexander's successors, in their campaigns in Syria. According to some accounts, the animal was the last of the 37 war elephants Hannibal took with him on his 218 B.C. crossing of the Alps, during the Second Punic War.

According to Plautus, Surus wore a red cloth, and may also have carried a red shield and a howdah (a construction on the animal's back), which served as a platform for Hannibal, who had difficulties overlooking the battlefield after losing one eye from an infection.

Tusk (1980 film)

Tusk (French title: Poo Lorn L'Elephant) is a 1980 French drama film directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky and written by Nicholas Niciphor. The screenplay concerns a young English girl and an Indian elephant who share a common destiny. It is based on the novel Poo Lorn L'Elephant by Reginald Campbell.

Wildlife of India

India is home to a variety of animals. Apart from a handful of domesticated animals, such as cows, water buffaloes, goats, chickens, and both Bactrian and Dromedary camels, India has a wide variety of animals native to the country. It is home to Bengal and Indochinese tigers, Asiatic lions, Indian and Indochinese leopards, snow leopards, clouded leopards, various species of Deer, including Chital, Hangul, Barasingha; the Indian Elephant, the Great Indian Rhinoceros, and many others. The region's diverse wildlife is preserved in more than 120 national parks, 18 Bio-reserves and more than 500 wildlife sanctuaries across the country. India has some of the most biodiverse regions of the world and contains four of the world’s 36 biodiversity hotspots – the Western Ghats, the Eastern Himalayas, Indo-Burma and Sunda Land. Wildlife management is essential to preserve the rare and endangered endemic species. India is one of the seventeen megadiverse countries. According to one study, India along with the other 16 megadiverse countries is home to about 60-70% of the world's biodiversity. India, lying within the Indomalaya ecozone, is home to about 7.6% of all mammalian, 12.6% of avian (bird), 6.2% of reptilian, and 6.0% of flowering plant species.Many Indian species are descendants of taxa originating in Gondwana, of which India originally was a part. Peninsular India's subsequent movement towards, and collision with, the Laurasian landmass set off a mass exchange of species. However, volcanism and climatic change 20 million years ago caused the extinction of many endemic Indian forms. Soon thereafter, mammals entered India from Asia through two zoogeographical passes on either side of the emerging Himalaya. As a result, among Indian species, only 12.6% of mammals and 4.5% of birds are endemic, contrasting with 45.8% of reptiles and 55.8% of amphibians. Notable endemics are the Nilgiri leaf monkey and the brown and carmine Beddome's toad of the Western Ghats. India contains 172, or 2.9%, of IUCN-designated threatened species. These include the Asian elephant, the Asiatic lion, Bengal tiger, Indian rhinoceros, mugger crocodile, and Indian white-rumped vulture, which suffered a near-extinction from ingesting the carrion of diclofenac-treated cattle.In recent decades, human encroachment has posed a threat to India's wildlife; in response, the system of national parks and protected areas, first established in 1935, was substantially expanded. In 1972, India enacted the Wildlife Protection Act and Project Tiger to safeguard crucial habitat; further federal protections were promulgated in the 1980s. Along with over 515 wildlife sanctuaries, India now hosts 18 biosphere reserves, 10 of which are part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves; 26 wetlands are registered under the Ramsar Convention.

The peepul tree, shown on the seals of Mohenjo-daro, shaded Gautama Buddha as he sought enlightenment. The varied and rich wildlife of India has had a profound impact on the region's popular culture. The wildlife has also been made famous in The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. India's wildlife has been the subject of numerous other tales and fables such as the "Panchatantra".

Wildlife of Karnataka

The state of Karnataka in South India has a rich diversity of flora and fauna. It has a recorded forest area of 38720 km2 which constitutes 20.19% of the total geographical area of the state. These forests support 25% of the elephant population and 20% of the tiger population of India. Many regions of Karnataka are still unexplored and new species of flora and fauna are still found. The Western Ghats mountains in the western region of Karnataka are a biodiversity hotspot. Two sub-clusters of the Western Ghats, Talacauvery and Kudremukh in Karnataka, are in a tentative list of sites that could be designated as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The Bandipur and Nagarahole national parks which fall outside these subclusters were included in the Nilgiri biosphere reserve in 1986, a UNESCO designation. Biligiriranga Hills in Karnataka is a place where Eastern Ghats meets Western Ghats. The state bird and state animal of Karnataka are Indian roller and the Indian elephant respectively. The state tree and state flower are sandalwood (Santalum album) and lotus respectively. Karnataka is home to 406+ tigers (around 12% of tigers in world).

Extant Proboscidea species by family

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