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Wild Asiatic Elephant -

 

The Asian or Asiatic elephant (Elephas maximus) is the only living species of the genus Elephas and distributed in Southeast Asia from India in the west to Borneo in the east.

The elephant is the largest terrestrial animal that evolved nearly 60 million years ago. An Asian bull can attain a height of 10 feet and a weight upto five tons. It's tusks can measure upto 6 ft (180 cm) long. The female has small tusks, called tushes. Males without tusks are known as “makhna”. The ears of the Asian elephant are much smaller than the African species, and the trunk tip has one finger. Elephants are purely vegetarian and in a day an adult can eat 200-300 kg of fodder and drink upto 100 litres of water. They travel in family groups, which often assemble in feeding grounds or around waterholes to form large herds. Adult bulls join the group for mating.Males have glands in the temporal areas between the eyes and ears. These glands periodically produce an oily substance known as musth and during these periods the males are excitable and can be dangerous. Such a condition more often coincides with periods of increased sexual activity. Females become sexually mature when they are around 15 years of age. Males at this age are forced to move away from the matriarchal group. Although males are also sexually mature at this age yet they get opportunities to mate only when they are around 30 years and capable of competing with other bulls for estrous females. A single calf is born after a gestation of 18 to 22 months and is nursed for 4 to 5 years.

 

 

 

Story Behind -

Uttarakhand has got some pristine wildlife and i was at Corbett Tiger Reserve to experience it. Towards Summer time during the months of April and May, Elephants from all the near by forests gather at Dhikala Grassland of Corbett Tiger Reserve. Many photographers and wildlife Lovers prefer Dhikala just to see this gathering of large herds of wild elephants in the grassland.

One late afternoon, decided to head straight to the grassland to witness this gathering.

We reached the grassland but could see only few herds very far off. While i was waiting .. saw this huge lone tusker walking towards us on the same path where our jeep was standing. While i was looking at this huge guy straight walking towards me ... totally amazed by the grace of this young Tusker. Lone Tuskers are known for their aggression due to Musth phase.

Later on he successfully claimed his mate from one of the herd .. was wonderful to watch.