- Posted March 30, 2012 by
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Travel photo of the day
The Forest Elephants of India
- ssesha, CNN iReport producer
The Indian Elephant is one of three recognized subspecies of the Asian elephant, and native to mainland Asia. Since 1986, the Indian Elephant has been listed as endangered by IUCN as the population has declined by at least 50% over the last three generations. The species is pre-eminently threatened by habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation.
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. Indian elephants reach a shoulder height of between 2 and 3.5 m, weigh between 2,000 and 5,000 kg, and have 19 pairs of ribs. Their skin color 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.
As we watched several elephants come out of the forest, one charged our vehicle, only to turn away at the last minute. What an experience.