Asian Elephants are native to South East Asia, and can still be found in 13 countries in that region, ranging from sea level up to 3,000 metres. They have a very varied habitat consisting of grassland, tropical evergreen forest, semi-evergreen forest, deciduous forest and dry thorn forest, and their home ranges can be in excess of 600 km².
60-70 years in the wild and up to 80 years in zoos
Due to their size elephants require huge quantities of food, and may spend 14-19 hours a day feeding. They feed mainly on grasses, but also on tree bark, roots and leaves and can consume up to 150kg of food per day. They are also partial to cultivated crops such as bananas, rice and sugarcane.
The elephant’s closest living relatives are the rock hyrax (a small furry mammal that lives in rocky landscapes across sub-Saharan Africa and along the coast of the Arabian peninsula) and sea cows (dugongs and manatees).