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Home :: Wildlife of India :: Elephants in India

Elephants in India


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Nothing can compare the majestic build up of an elephant and when you ride on when, it feels like you've gone back to the times of the royal. Elephants always catch the attention of every onlooker, but just like Tigers and Lions this animal has also come under threat of extinction. Asian elephants are listed under endangered, and have almost vanished from most of China and Southwest Asia. As the human population increases, the elephants' natural habitat is destroyed, and they are forced to live on the farming areas, where they cause damage to crops. According to a recent wildlife survey there are less than 45,000 Asian elephants remain in the wilds of Asia.

About Asian Elephants And African Elephants
Asian elephants are distinguished from the African ones by their smaller size, smaller ears, more rounded back, and fourth toenail on each of their hind feet. They have thick, dry skin with a small amount of stiff hair, and are grey to brown in colour. Asian elephants are mainly found across India and Sri Lanka and towards the south and east as far as Sumatra. They live in a range of habitats from grasslands to wet forests. Asian Elephants have a varied vegetarian diet, and feed on grasses, bamboo, leaves, bark, shoots, creepers and palms. They also prefer seasonal variety sometimes such as fig leaves and fruits, wood apple and mango. In India the major regions where elephants are found include the forests of Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Kerala, Uttara Pradesh, Orissa, and Assam. A typical elephant herd consists of forty elephants, which include five male tuskers and quite a few young calves. Indian Elephants are very sociable animals and march from forest to forest, seldom staying in one for more than a few days. However, few males in their youth prefer to lead a solitary life. When on the move, the females lead the herd, with the tuskers lagging behind, unless alerted to some approaching danger.

Bandipur & Nagarhole National Park
Bandipur, lying in the shadow of the Western Ghats, is one of the Asian elephant. Drained by the Moyar Tiver, its own forest makes it easy for visitors to see the Elephant and Gaur in natural surroundings. At Nagarhole too, there are excellent facilities for viewing wildlife and large groups of Gaur, Elephant, Sambar, Chital and even the occassional Tiger or Leopard are seen.

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Set in the ranges of the Western Ghats, in Kerala, is the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve. The Park has a picturesque lake at the heart of the sanctuary. Formed with the building of a dam in 1895, this reservoir provides a perennial source of water for the local wildlife. Herds of Elephant and Sambar, Gaur and wild Pigs wander down to the lake side and can be observed from the motor launches that cruise the lake. In the dry months of March and April, the animals spend a lot of time near the lake and the Indian Elephants can be seen bathing and swimming in the reservoir. A glimpse may be had even of the Tiger during this season, as it comes to the water.

General Information
Major Regions : Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Kerala, Uttara Pradesh, Orissa, & Assam
Famous Elephant Reserves : Periyar Widlife Sanctuary, Bandipur & Nagarhole National Parks
Other Wildlife Attractions : Tiger, Gaur, Sambar, Chital, Leopard. Elephant Safari Tour Packages

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