Asian elephant

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Animal File

Common Name:
Asian elephant
Scientific Name:
Elephas maximus
Size: Up to 3.2 m
Weight: Up to 4990 kg
Mammals
Herbivores
Native to Asia
Grasslands and Steppes
Rivers and Lakes
Temperate Forest and Taiga

Conservation Status

Endangered

UPDATE: You can now see our herd in their brand new home - Project Elephant Base Camp! 

Our brand new concept in animal care, Project Elephant, will open your eyes to the future of zoos and in-situ conservation programmes working together to preserve our most iconic species. It is our commitment to securing a future for Asian elephants.

Project Elephant Base Camp is now home to 5 female Asian elephants - Kate, who has lived at Blackpool Zoo since 1972, and her new herd mates, Minbu, Tara, Noorjahan and Esha. 

Originating from the open grasslands, marshes, savannahs and tropical forests of India, Burma, Thailand and Sri Lanka, this species is currently classed as endangered mainly due to illegal hunting and habitat loss to deforestation and farming.

Asian elephants live between 60 and 70 years and can produce a single calf every two years as pregnancy lasts for 22 months, longer than any other land mammal.  The calves weigh much the same at birth as an adult human being.  Twin calves have been known but are extremely rare.

They travel long distances looking for food, including grasses, leaves, trees and shrubs.  In the Zoo, elephants are fed on horse and pony pellets, fruit, vegetables, bran, hay, straw, browse and vitamins. Their liking for trees and crops does not endear them to local farmers and residents as they cause so much damage, and conservation projects are in place to educate local villagers in living harmoniously with their huge neighbours.

You can find out more about Project Elephant on our dedicated website - here.

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