The Kaziranga National Park boasts of a huge population of the Indian Elephants.
The Indian Elephant (Elephas maximus indicus) of Kaziranga National Park is one of three recognized subspecies of the Asian elephant and native to mainland Asia. Since 1986, ‘Elephas maximus’ has been listed as Endangered by IUCN as the population has declined by at least 50% over the last 1 to -1 years or three generations. Asian elephants are threatened by habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation.
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. 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.
The Indian Elephants at Kaziranga National Park are classified as megaherbivores and consume up to 150 kg of plant matter per day. They are generalist feeders, and both grazers and browsers. In India, elephants are 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.
The Indian Elephants of the Kaziranga National Park generally feed in the early mornings and the late afternoons. The Elephants of Kaziranga choose forested parts of their area to continue feeding on branches, leaves and fruits. These Elephants prefer to spend time in and around the water bodies of the Kaziranga National Park. Kaziranga has some of the best skilled Elephant handlers in the Country known as ‘Mahouts’. These ‘Mahouts’ assist in ferrying visitors into the Kaziranga National Park across the Elephant Safari options at the Kaziranga National Park. The Indian Rhinoceros of Kaziranga, in particular, allow Elephants to approach much closer than they allow the Jeep Safari vehicles.
The Indian Elephants at Kaziranga National Park prefer feeding in the open durings the early mornings and late afternoons. When the sun is high, the Elephants of Kaziranga choose forested parts of their range to continue feeding on branches, leaves, barks and fruits whose seeds will be dispersed near and far. As with Elephants everywhere, at Kaziranga too, these species spend considerable time near water-bodies.
So why wait?! Plan your visit to spot the Largest Mammals of Asia ~ the Asiatic Elephants at the Kaziranga National Park, the State of Assam, Incredible India!
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