Elephants in Thailand

There are two species of elephant: African and Asian. Asian elephants are divided into four sub-species, Sri Lankan, Indian, Sumatran and Borneo. Thai elephants are classed as Indian elephants. Thai elephants have slight differences from other sub-species of Indian elephants. They are smaller, have shorter front legs, and a thicker body than their Indian counterparts.

Elephants are herbivores, consuming ripe bananas, leaves, bamboo, tree bark, and other fruits. Eating occupies 18 hours of an elephant's day. They eat 100-200 kilograms of food per day. A cow (female) will eat 5.6 percent of her body weight per day. A bull (male) will eat 4.8 percent. Thus a 3,000 kilogram cow will consume 168 kg per day, a 4,000 kg bull 192 kg per day. As elephants can digest only 40 percent of their daily intake, the result is dung amounting to 50-60 kg daily. As elephants will not eat in unclean surroundings fouled by dung, their instinct is to roam to a new area.

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Kanta Elephant Sanctuary