Despite the fact that elephants are one of the most recognized and beloved animals on our planet, there are actually only two species of elephants that exist in the world today: the African elephant and the Indian or Asian elephant. These majestic creatures have captured our imaginations for centuries with their intelligence, social behavior, and physical strength.


The African elephant is the largest of the two species, with males growing up to 13 feet tall and weighing over 14,000 pounds. They are recognized by their larger ears, which resemble the shape of Africa, and their distinctively curved tusks. African elephants are native to sub-Saharan Africa and are divided into two subspecies: the savanna elephant and the forest elephant.

In contrast, the Indian or Asian elephant is slightly smaller than its African counterpart, with males reaching up to 11 feet tall and weighing up to 11,000 pounds. They have smaller ears, a more rounded forehead, and straighter tusks. They are native to the Asian continent, with populations found in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and other Southeast Asian countries.

Despite their physical differences, both species of elephants play an essential role in their ecosystems and have complex social structures. Unfortunately, both African and Asian elephants face numerous threats, including habitat loss, poaching, and human-elephant conflict. Conservation efforts are underway to protect and preserve these magnificent animals for generations to come.


In Thailand, the number of this animals has decreased dramatically with the lost of their natural habitat by the destroying of forests. Currently there are only about 3500 – 6000 in this country. About half of them live together with a mahout, an elephant leader in elephant camps. A mahout takes care  of his elephant a lifetime and must ensure that the elephant has enough food. They have great hunger, they eat around 200kg – 300kg food a day and drink 100-150 liters of water. The daily diet is equivalent to about one-tenth of his body weight. Because elephants have a relatively small stomach, you can see them excrete very often.

The mahout can teach his elephant up to 60 commands during the first years. The two communicate with each other in various ways, for example, by the voice of the mahout. Also, the mahout uses his feet when he is sitting on the head of his elephant to give instructions in which direction he has to go.

Usually elephants are herd animals. The females live together in a large herd and the oldest female is the leader. She is responsible for the rest of the group up to the weakest member. The elephants males, however, are loner. Therefore, the reproduction of elephants is rather limited in the wild.

Elephants are quite intelligent animals, as they have a really amazing memory and a very well developed sense of smell.

Because elephants have a very high value, there is even a national memorial day in honor of them in Thailand, on 13 March. Elephants are revered in Thai culture and are regarded as symbols of good luck. If a elephant dies he gets a nice funeral with an elaborate ceremony in which monks are present. A white elephant was once the emblem of the then Kingdom of Siam.