All About the Calf

The calf is a term for a baby cow.

While all baby cows are considered calves, there are different types of this animal, each with its own set of traits.

What You Should Know

Among baby cows, there are three main types of calves. There are dairy, beef, and veal calves.

The dairy calf stays with its mother to nurse for a short time. Most farmers choose to wean it and move it to the pasture within a few weeks. These calves eat grass by two to four weeks old. Beef calves tend to weigh more at birth. They will also drink up to a gallon of milk per day.

By the time they are six to ten months old, they are weaned. By this time, they typically weigh up to 450 pounds. Females are usually kept for future breeding while the males are sent to auction or slaughtered. The veal calves are Holstein cows. The females are kept for milk production while the males are sold as veal. They are usually killed between birth and three weeks old.

What Sound Do They Make?

Calves will communicate with their mothers through mooing noises. This is how they get to know one another. There isn’t much difference between the sound of a calf and the sound of a full-size cow.

You can listen to some of the sounds that baby calves make on this audio site.

Group Characteristics

Once the baby cow is born, it builds a strong bond to the mother. Cows even celebrate when a baby is born. They protect the mother and newborn to ensure both animals are safe and warm. Like most mammals, the mother cow carries the baby in her womb before birth. The gestation period lasts for nine months, but female calves typically take longer than the male.

Calves are born with teeth, but they are soft and small. That’s why the mother cow chews food before giving it to the baby.

How Many Are There?

There is no shortage of cows in the world. The World Atlas estimates over a billion cows around the globe. There aren’t a lot of threats to the calf, but they might suffer from some congenital abnormalities. The Akabane virus is one that affects the calf, primarily in the tropical and temperate regions of the world.

Pop Culture

The cow is used often in animation and as a mascot. It’s long been the symbol for dairy products, but the calf is rarely ever used. In some movies, you might find the calf as a supporting character, but rarely in a feature role. Some films that feature cows include Barnyard, Home on the Range and Annabelle’s Wish.

For businesses or as a logo, famous cows include Elsie the Borden Cow, The Laughing Cow, and the Turkey Hill Cow.

Interesting Facts

Most cows only birth one cow a year. Twins do occur about 10% of the time. There are more difficulties when twin calves are born. When one of the twins is a heifer and other a bull, in over 90% of the times, the heifer will be sterile.

Cows make more milk than the calf ever needs. On average, a mother cow will produce between five and 12 gallons of milk each day.

Newborn calves see, stand and walk immediately after birth.

The term calf is used to describe other animals. Other bovid species include the water buffalo, yak and bison. Calves also refer to the young of elephants, hippopotamuses, deer, dolphins, camels, giraffes and elk.

Pauline was the last cow to live at the White House. She belonged to President Taft.

All About Sambar Deer

Sambar Deer make up the largest group of the deer family.

There are seven subspecies of the sambar deer, but they may soon become endangered.

What You Should Know

Because the sambar deer depend on water, they are never located far from a water source. They live among a variety of forest habitats from the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains through Asia to the islands of Sumatra, Borneo, and Taiwan.

Sambar deer did make their way to the United States. It was introduced in Florida in 1908. By 1950, there were 50 sambar deer counted. While the white-tailed deer lives on St. Vincent Island as well, the sambar deer don’t enter their highlands. Instead, they live in the marshes and lowlands. To keep the sambar deer from hurting the native whitetails, hunting permits are issued since 1987 to help keep the population at bay. Three-day hunting permits are offered to 130 people each year. This maintains a population between 70 and 100 deer. These deer don’t herd but live in family groups of four to five animals.

The sambar deer have also been introduced into the populations of New Zealand and Australia.

The sambar deer is elusive. They spend a lot of time being active from dusk throughout the night. These deer eat bamboo shoots, leaves, fruit, and grass. Some species will eat 130 to 180 plant types. Because of their large size, they eat a lot of food each day.

What Sound Do They Make?

Typically, the sambar deer freezes when threatened. It will confront predators with a loud alarm, barking, and stomping. At the same time, its mane becomes erect to look more intimidating.

You can hear some of the sambar deer sounds through these audio clips.

Group Characteristics

The sambar deer mates any time of the year, with the most popular time during the fall. Males watch their territory well and make loud noises to attract females. They will mate with about eight females during this time. Gestation periods tend to be around nine months. Typically, only one deer is born. This baby stays with its mother for two years before venturing out on its own.

In the wild, the sambar deer lives for about 20 years, but have lived for 26 years in captivity.

How Many are There?

According to the IUCN, the sambar deer is listed as Vulnerable. Over the past three decades, the population has decreased by over 50%. The main threat is how the population in Lao PDR, Vietnam and Cambodia uses the animal for antlers and meat. Natural predators include the dhole, Bengal tiger, and the Indian leopard. These populations will decrease if the sambar deer disappears.

Pop Culture

The deer is a common animal in films, especially animation. Everyone knows about Bambi, Open Season and The Yearling. Still, it’s much more difficult to determine when the sambar deer is used as the inspiration in a movie or TV show. According to Disney, there are sambar deer featured in The Jungle Book.

Interesting Facts

The sambar deer will reach 40 to 63 inches tall and up to 1,200 pounds of weight. Females are always smaller than the males. Their body is covered with a dark brown or yellowish-brown coat. The markings and spots are seen on both sides of the body. The males appear darker and end up with manes as they mature. All sambar deer also have long black tails.

Male sambar deer have 40-inch long antlers that divide into three branches. They shed these antlers yearly.

The sambar deer is an excellent swimmer and enjoys the water.

All About Red Pandas

The red panda has a kitten-like face and fluffy tail.

While most people think of the black-and-white variety when talking about pandas, this mammal shouldn’t be ignored.

What You Should Know

Red pandas live from northern Myanmar to the Yunnan Provinces of China. Some habitats in Tibet, India, and Nepal are also home to the red panda.

They prefer to live in the high-altitude temperate forests full of bamboo because this food makes up about 90% of its diet. 

Unlike the giant panda, red pandas prefer to eat the leaf tips and tender shoots. They grasp the stems with their forepaws and shear off the leaves with their mouths. When bamboo is scarce, they will feed on fruits, grubs, insects, birds or small mammals.

What Sound Do They Make?

Red pandas don’t make a lot of noise but have been heard making quacks and squeals. They sometimes grunt or hiss while the young cubs will whistle when in distress. You can listen to some red pandas with these sound clips.

Group Characteristics

The red panda prefers to remain in solitary unless it’s time to breed. In the wild, the range of each animal equals one square mile, while in captivity, they will live together.

Red pandas breed from January through March in the Northern Hemisphere, but the Southern Hemisphere sees breeding months between June to August. Gestation lasts anywhere from 93 to 156 days, as there might be a period of delayed implantation.

Females create a nest in hollow stumps, bamboo thickets, tree roots or tree holes. Litters consist of two cubs. They are born covered in fur which protects them from the cold. The offspring live with the mother for up to a year, which is when they are full grown.

How Many are There?

The IUCN lists the red panda as Endangered. Main threats to this animal include trapping. Typically, the traps are intended for deer or wild pigs, but the panda finds its way into them. They are also a target for poaching in Myanmar and China. In Bhutan, merchants sell the fur for hats and caps.

The two main predators to the red panda include the martens and snow leopards.

Pop Culture

The Firefox web browser is supposedly derived from the red panda, which is why it is called “firefox.” Another popular reference to the red panda is in the 2008 movie Kung Fu Panda. Master Shifu is the teacher who is an anthropomorphic red panda. Another anthropomorphic red panda is Retsuko from the Netflix series Aggretsuko.

Interesting Facts

When in captivity, the red pandas are active throughout the day, but most active at dawn and dusk. It’s estimated that they spend 45% of the day awake, but are more active when it is colder. If the temperature drops too low, the red panda will become dormant. Their metabolic rate lowers for the majority of the day. Then, it rises for a few hours, just long enough for them to find food.

This energy conservation mode allows the red panda to operate like a sloth. With the low nutritional value of their diet, it helps them to remain less active. They also have behaviors that help to regulate their body temperature. The red panda will curl up into a tight ball when it is cold. This keeps their energy and temperature loss to a minimum. On the other hand, they will stretch out and pant when the temperature is hot.

The red panda lives up to 23 years, but begin to exhibit signs of older age around the time they are 12 years old.

All About Stallions

A stallion is an adult, uncastrated male horse.

A lot of young people wish to own a stallion, but don’t often understand this isn’t usually a tame horse.

Owning one requires more care and maintenance than having a regular horse. It also takes a lot of patience to ride one, which is why stallions aren’t often found as familiar childhood companions.

What You Should Know

A male horse comes into the world as a colt. When he reaches three years old, he is a stallion, although he might breed sooner. If he has his testicles surgically removed (gelded) he is known as a Gelding and can live among other horses. Otherwise, the stallion horse should be kept in an area by itself.

The main purpose of the stallion is to breed with the female horses. Because of this, most owners understand they will require more work and effort to deal with.

What Sound Do They Make?

The stallion makes all of the typical horse sounds, including a neigh and knicker. You can hear numerous horse sounds, including some from stallions with these audio clips.

Group Characteristics

Stallions should never be with other horses because they breed indiscriminately. They have also been known to attack the geldings. Without the proper fencing, it’s possible to end up with more horses than planned after unexpected breeding, especially since stallions will breed up to two or three times per day.

The majority of male horses are born with the ability to breed. Still, many worry about overpopulation and choose to inhibit their ability. In addition, horses born with bad temperaments or genetic defects are often stopped from breeding.

Older stallions are often gelded and put with the general horse population once their breeding purposes are complete. To board a stallion often costs more money because of the additional effort and time it takes to care for them.

How Many are There?

While some horse breeds are endangered, the majority of them are thriving. It’s estimated that America has more than nine million horses at any given time. This includes commercial and recreational horses. The United States has more horses than any other country but is followed closely by Mexico and China.

Pop Culture

The list of available horse movies is endless, but some stand out with a lead stallion. The Black Stallion is a book and film that inspires many. It’s about Alec, who is stranded on an island with an Arabian stallion. These two become friends and the story follows their rescue and ultimate racing adventure. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron is an animated tale of a wild stallion that travels along the western frontier. Another popular option is The Derby Stallion. This starred Zac Efron when he was younger as a teenager with a passion for horses.

Interesting Facts

The term stallion first started back when Henry VII was a king. He passed laws regarding the exporting and breeding of horses, in hopes to improve British stock. It was forbidden at the time to allow the uncastrated horses loose in a field.

Every breed of horse has stallions. It is a term used for any mature male horse that can reproduce, no matter what breed it is. Because of this, stallions aren’t just black in color, as commonly thought. Any horse color can become a stallion.

The stallion follows a hierarchy. If there is more than one together, there will be a clear leader. Sometimes, there is a battle over the leadership position between males. If females are present, she determines which way the herd travels and ensures that the stragglers make their way with the pack.

All About Bulls

A bull is a male cow that has not been castrated. It’s muscular and more aggressive than the female cow.

The bull plays a significant role in dairy farming and beef ranching. Plus, bulls play a big part in today’s culture through various sports and activities.

What You Should Know

A cow is a female counterpart to the bull. In North America, the term is also used for a young bull, while Australians use it to define a draught animal. The word bull is also used for other bovine males, including water buffalo and bison.

Bulls eat alfalfa hay and other food that is high in protein. They have a four-compartment stomach, just like the cow. They swallow all of their food whole and then regurgitate it for chewing. They live for about 20 to 25 years.

The bull prefers to live alone, other than when it is reproducing. They don’t like to compete for food and prefer to live a solitary life.

What Sound Do They Make?

The cow has an easily recognizable moo, but the bull adds an angry bellow to it. You can hear some of the sounds with this page of clips. https://www.soundsnap.com/tags/bull

Group Characteristics

Bulls are ready to breed by seven months old. The bull will mate will multiple cows each year. Some ranches use on average two bulls per 100 cows.

If the bull isn’t present when the cow is ready to breed, it will wait up to another 21 days to reproduce. That’s why many farmers watch carefully for signs that reproduction is ideal; otherwise, they miss the opportunity to create offspring.

How Many are There?

Of all the cow population in the world, India has the largest inventory. They are followed by Brazil and China. The United States has less than ten percent of the world’s cattle.

Pop Culture

The bull might be best known as the inspiration behind the NBA Chicago Bulls team. Aside from sports and reproducing they are also popular for bullfighting and riding. You will find numerous festivals including the bulls, such as the Running of the Bulls. Even bull-leaping is a sport.

As far as film goes, one of the most popular bulls is Ferdinand. He was the main character in the animated film that was meek and didn’t want to be involved in bullfighting but was pressured by others to partake in the sport.

Interesting Facts

Most people assume that the bull is angered by the color red, but this is simply untrue. In fact, bulls are red-green color blind, just like most other cattle. The actions occurring in bullfighting simply happen because of the movement from the matador’s cape, not the color. This is what provokes the animal to anger.

Bulls feature more muscle than cows. They also have thicker bones and larger feet. This is what allows them to dominate a herd. The bull’s hair is shorter on its body, but the head features a curly mane where the hair is woolly. The bull might measure the same height as a cow, but because of the extra muscle, it will weigh much more.

Many activities involving the bull are considered to be inhumane. Bullfighting is one that sparks outrage from animal welfare advocates. They claim that the sport forces the bulls to suffer a slow and painful death. There have also been numerous protests against rodeos. The argument is that rodeos cause undue stress, injury, and death to these animals. Also, the same activists are against the Running of the Bulls. This is another activity that might cause additional injuries and stress to the bulls.

All About Foals

A foal is a term used for an equine up to a year old. Male foals are called a colt while the female is referred to as a filly.

Many people confuse the term foal with a pony, but a pony is simply a small horse that will never grow to be any larger.

What You Should Know

The foal is a horse under the age of one. It’s too young to be ridden and can’t be used for work. They look different than a full-size horse because of their smaller bodies and long legs. Their heads also exhibit characteristics of youth and are slender.

Foals can walk and trot shortly after birth, though they might seem weak-kneed at first. During the first week of its life, the foal only nurses. After then it might taste some grass.

What Sound Do They Make?

A foal neighs and makes the same noises that a full-size horse does. The mother and foal communicate without sounds and form a close bond.

If you enjoy listening to horse sounds, there are pages of them available at this site: https://www.audiomicro.com/free-sound-effects/free-animals/free-horses.

Group Characteristics

The mare carries the foal for about 11 months, but that varies by a few weeks. The foal gets up and starts nursing within two hours of birth. Often, the filly gets up faster than the colt. Within 24 hours, most foals are galloping.

The majority of foals are born during the night and birth occurs fast. In captivity, many owners report taking a bathroom break or getting a drink only to find the foal waiting when they come back. In the wild, this quick birth helps protect the newborn from predators.

Foals can be weaned by three months, but it’s generally expected that they stay with the mother longer. If the foal begins growing too fast, it’s wise to slow the weaning down. Otherwise, they start to experience trouble with their joints.

How Many are There?

2 million people own horses. As of 2016, there were more than 9 million horses in the United States alone. Also, 4.6 million people are involved with horses as either an owner, service provider, volunteer or employee.

Pop Culture

The majority of horse movies start by showing the main character as a foal. Then, the story follows them into adulthood. Other than that, there are few films dedicated to telling a story about this young horse. Popular movies such as Black Beauty, Secretariat, and Spirit all have foals as a part of the story line.

Interesting Facts

The foal’s legs don’t grow much larger than they are. They measure about 90% of the total length that they will be when they are full-grown.

Foals require more sleep than an adult horse. This helps them to grow. It will take them several months before they learn the art of sleeping on their feet.

Mares never leave the foal while it is sleeping. It’s a way of protecting her young from danger. If the mare must leave, another mare babysits the sleeping foal. The foal also sleeps much more soundly than an adult horse. Still, if danger arises, the mare knickers to alert the baby. Then, the foal springs to its feet in an instant, much faster than an adult horse can because of its lower bodyweight.

Foals learn about the world around them by tasting, licking and chewing. This is why they are often seen tasting fences and chewing unusual objects. They also learn some skills from the herd. If a foal is born to a tame mare, it usually grows up tame just because it acquires the same habits.

Featured Article

All About Lambs

The lamb is just a baby sheep.

In different parts of the world, it’s classified by various criteria, but it typically refers to a sheep under the age of a year.

What You Should Know

Each country uses the term lamb to describe the sheep at a certain, early stage of life. For example, New Zealand says that any sheep under a year old is a lamb, but Australians require that any sheep without permanent incisors is also a lamb.

When first born, the lamb contains a tail, but this sheds as they grow. Other than that, the lamb is fully developed at birth, but they never grow upper teeth.

Lambs require a large amount of space to graze in. They also want shelter from the elements. Their diet consists of pasture plants and grass. They take a long time to eat and often spend up to seven hours out of each diet grazing.

What Sound Do They Make?

The lamb makes the same sounds does. It is slightly more high-pitched than the sheep because of their voice changing as they grow. Listen to some of the baaings from lambs from these sound clips.

Group Characteristics

Sheep carry the lambs for about five months before giving birth. These lambs weigh five to eight pounds. These babies are at risk for predators and often experience a high mortality rate without good care.

The lamb is fed by its mother and doesn’t wean until between two to three months old. If the lamb is mis-mothered by a farmer or caretaker, it becomes weak and needs further assistance.

How Many are There?

It’s estimated that there are more than one billion sheep in the world. China currently has the largest number of these sheep.

Lambs are vulnerable to diseases including viral contagious ecthyma. This causes a sore mouth with ulcerations and stops the lamb from nursing properly. Without intervention, this lamb will starve to death. Pneumonia also targets lambs as well as diarrhea.

Pop Culture

Sheep are a common feature in animation and kid’s films. In these, you can also find lamb included. For example, in Shaun the Sheep, Timmy is the baby lamb that causes trouble. He became so popular that he also got his own show, Timmy Time.

The most notable example of a lamb in culture is in the well-known nursery rhyme, Mary had a Little Lamb. While this nursery rhyme originates from 1830, it is still recited by children worldwide. This poem is based on Mary Sawyer who kept a pet lamb, which traveled with her to school one day at the suggestion of her brother.

Interesting Facts

Sheep have a high level of intellect, even when they are babies. They can perform simple problem-solving tasks and are often evaluated to be as smart as dogs. They also have exceptional memories. Because of this, they remember humans and other sheep for years after seeing them last.

Sheep also express emotions. They will position their ears, make facial expressions and voice their emotions.

The Ancient Egyptians believed that the sheep was a sacred animal. That’s why they mummified it when it died, just like they did with humans.

The Egyptians weren’t the only people to revere the sheep. It’s an animal present in the Chinese Zodiac. If a person is born in the year of the sheep, it’s assumed that they have gentleness, righteousness, sincerity, and compassion.

The sheep is also a common animal used in the Bible to depict the followers of Jesus. In a common prey vs. predator illustration, the sheep are told to be careful of the wolves.

All About the Asiatic Black Bear

There are eight main species of bear in the world.

Of these, there are several subspecies, including the Asiatic black bear. This bear is in danger and requires attention.

What You Should Know

The Asiatic black bear lives in forested areas and prefers mountains or hills. During the summer, it lives at altitudes over 10,000 feet and then descends into the lower elevation during cold months. In Russia, their home range measures four to eight square miles. The majority of these bears are nocturnal and little is known about their social organization.

Asiatic black bears feed on many foods, including bee’s nests, invertebrates, fruits, small vertebrates, and insects. Occasionally, they will kill domestic livestock, but it’s not common.

What Sound Do They Make?

There isn’t enough research to understand all of the communication between Asiatic black bears. It’s clear to see that there are often dominant and subordinate bears, in relation to one another. When a bear is subordinate, it will move away from the other, lie down or sit. A dominant bear walks or runs toward its rival.

Bears tend to communicate through smell. They urinate, defecate and rub themselves on trees so other bears smell their scent.

You can listen to some of the standard black bear sounds with this YouTube video.

Group Characteristics

Just like with all bear species, the Asiatic black bear is a solitary animal. It only joins with another if it’s mating or trying to compete for territory. It has smaller claws but is capable of climbing quickly. It spends the majority of its time up in the trees while hunting small animals.

Asiatic black bears breed starting when they are four to five years old. They mate during the warmer months and have a gestation period of six to eight months. They produce one to four cubs at a time in early spring. The cubs are born hairless and must rely on the warmth from the mother. Once they are six months old, the cub is weaned. They will remain with their mother until about three years old. The typical Asiatic black bear lives up to 30 years old in captivity and about 25 years old in the wild.

How Many are There?

The Asiatic black bear is listed as vulnerable from the IUCN. It faces numerous dangers including the harvesting of crops, livestock farming, production of roads, hunting and water management. Natural predators include tigers. The majority of Asiatic black bears won’t need to worry much about predators because of its size, but the cubs are at risk.

Watch a Video

In the first video, you can learn some new facts about the Asiatic black bear.

The second video teaches the difference between the Asiatic and American black bear.

Pop Culture

The Asiatic black bear played Peter “Claws” Ward in Asian Animals, Inc. as well as Heimlich in An Asian Animal’s Life. This widespread species is often on display at various zoos across the country.

Interesting Facts

The Asiatic black bear reaches up to 75 inches long and weighs up to 440 pounds. It features a shaggy, black coat and has a white crescent-shaped mark on its chest. That’s why it gets the nickname “Moon Bear.” The muzzle contains light-brown fur while the neck area showcases a mane.

The Asiatic black bear has a rounded, large head as well as bigger ears and a snout. It can walk on either two or four legs with ease. On two legs, it will travel up to a ¼-mile without a problem. Sometimes, it uses this posture to intimidate a predator or competitor.

All About the Asian Palm Civet

The Asian palm civet is a small viverrid that tends to weigh less than ten pounds.

It’s also known as the Common Palm Civet, Motit, Toddy Cat, Marapatti, Maranai, and Uguduwa.

What You Should Know

Asian palm civets live in Asia, extending from the Philippines to Kashmir. Most of them live in southern China, southern India, northern Himalayas, and neighboring islands.

They choose a variety of habitats to make their home. Typically, they are found in the tropical and temperate forests but are also found in fruit orchards, plantations, suburban gardens, and parks.

The Asian palm civet opts to live where food is easy to find. This puts them in dense foliage, rock crevices, and tree hollows. They prefer the tallest trees with dense canopies and vines for protection. They will live in elevations up to 2,000 feet.

This solitary animal comes out at night to hunt its food. They mark their territory by dragging their anal glands across the ground. The Asian palm civet is carnivorous. It eats a meat-based diet, with the occasional fruit or plant. The majority of its food includes frogs, snakes, lizards, and rodents. Some of the vegetation it prefers include mango and palm.

What Sound Do They Make?

You can hear the squeaky, chirpy sound that an Asian palm civet makes with this file.

Group Characteristics

A female Asian palm civet will give birth to between one and four young after a couple of months gestation period. The civets breed any time of the year; there’s no predetermined season. These babies are weaned once they can fend for themselves in the wild. Many Asian palm civets can live for 20 years, but predators and habitat loss cause them to die sooner.

It’s interesting to know that the only time a civet shares a tree with another is during mating or raising its young. Otherwise, it wants to be completely alone.

How Many are There?

The Asian palm civet is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN list. It’s become tolerant of a broad range of habitats, making it easily adaptable to any condition. This animal faces danger from numerous predators, including large cats and reptiles.

Watch a Video

The first video offers some facts you might not know about the Asian palm civet.

Here’s another informative video that will entertain.

Pop Culture

Leo, the Wildlife Ranger, had an episode dedicated to the Asian palm civet. The civet steals food and the Junior Rangers must take the civet back to its home. This causes them to travel through the rainforest, a plantation and run into a wild boar.

The most known issue with the Asian palm civet in the public eye is the coffee scandal. The world’s most expensive coffee comes from civet poop. They are fed coffee cherries which get partially digested and pooped out. This causes them to live in cages and eat food they aren’t accustomed to. This behavior led to an outcry from activists about the inhumane treatment of the animal.

Interesting Facts

The Asian palm civet measures 19 to 23 inches long and has a tail that measures 17 to 21 inches long. It typically weighs less than ten pounds. It has a shaggy, coarse coat that is grey. It also features black markings on the nose, ears, and feet.

The Asian palm civet has been known to climb trees and house gutters. That’s because they have sharp claws on their feet that allow them to climb almost anything.

Even though the Asian palm civet is closely related to mongooses and weasels, it is not a feline animal.

All About the Asian Elephant

The Asian Elephant is a social animal that’s also intelligent.

Unlike the African Elephant, this species doesn’t always grow tusks. When it does, they are often much smaller.

What You Should Know

The Asian elephant is found in southeastern and southern Asia. It’s found from India to Thailand, all the way to southern China. The Asian elephant has three subspecies: Indian, Sumatran, and Sri Lankan.

The Asian elephant is sociable. You will find the majority of females in a group of six or seven other females that are related. This herd is led by the matriarch of the group. Sometimes, this tight unit will join with others to create a larger gathering.

The majority of the elephant’s day is spent eating grass. Aside from that, the Asian elephant also eats tree bark, leaves, roots, and small stems. When they find bananas, sugarcane, and rice, it’s just an added treat. The elephant tries to stay close to a water source so it can drink at least once each day.

What Sound Do They Make?

Asian elephants use low-pitched sounds to communicate over long distances. Most humans can’t hear the sound easily. These infrasonic sounds are understood by other elephants over two miles away.

Listen to some of the rumbling noises an elephant makes.

Group Characteristics

The female Asian elephant gives birth to a single calf (rarely twins) every 2.5 to four years. Each one of these calves weighs approximately 150 to 350 pounds. It only takes a few months for the calf to start eating foliage and grass. It remains with the mother for a few years and then begins making moves to become independent around four years old.

How Many are There?

At the beginning of the 20th century, there were over 100,000 Asian elephants. Numbers have dropped by more than 50% since then and remain on the decline.

The Asian elephant was once allowed to roam around Asia, but now only has 15% of its original range. The biggest threat to them is the loss of habitat. As Asia continues converting the area into farmland, the elephant loses its home. This leaves the elephant to raid the farmer’s crops and damage the fields, which puts humans at odds with it.

The Asian elephant still endures poaching and capture as well. It’s not as prominent as with the African elephant, but it’s a problem, especially near Thailand.

Watch a Video

Watch this video to learn more about Asian elephants.

If you want to learn more about the differences between an Asian elephant vs. an African elephant, this video helps.

Pop Culture

Elephants are a popular fixture in movies and animation. You can see Bill Murray star with an elephant in Larger than Life from 1996. He’s a motivational speaker that inherits an elephant when his clown father dies. In The Jungle Book, we also see a herd of elephants that go by the name Jungle Patrol.

Interesting Facts

The Asian elephant is smaller than African elephants. It has smaller ears, which continuously move to keep it cool.

Asian elephants survive 60 to 70 years in the wild, but almost half of them will die before they reach 15 years old.

Young males don’t join the herd. They prefer to travel by themselves or join up with a few other males during travel.