Where Do Elephants Live?

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Elephants mainly live in the tropical and sub-tropical areas of Africa and Asia. Moreover, African elephants are native to 37 African countries, mainly in the south of the Sahara Desert.

Elephant Species in Africa

There are two species of elephants that live in Africa. The first is the African savanna/bush elephant (Loxodonta africana). This species mainly lives in marshes, grasslands, savannas, swamps and alongside lakes.

The second species – the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyaclotis) - lives in the dense tropical rainforests and mountains.

Habitat and Adaptibility

Indian elephants mainly live in 11 countries including Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietinam, the Malay Peninsula and India. They typically go between grassland and forests depending on where there is more food. Additionally, Sumatran elephants are only found in Sumatra and they mainly live in forests.

Elephants can survive in various areas mainly because of the wide variety of foods they can eat. They form migration paths that they follow year after year. This allows the elephants to take advantage of the food that grows in various areas. The paths formed by elephants are clear just like roads and they can be fascinating to see.

Most elephants in Africa live in game parks and national parks where they are well protected, especially against poaching, in order to help increase their dwindling population. However, this is very stressful for elephants since they love the ability to move freely. Elephants also love playing and bathing in water so they can travel very long distances to find it.

Intelligence and Survival

The elephant’s high level of intelligence has helped them survive in the wild for so long. Even though they have a natural habitat where they should be, they can also tell when they must move on and adjust to a new habitat in order to survive.

In most cases, elephants move to new habitats in search of adequate food and supplies. They are likely to survive where they can find plenty of food and water.

Elephants can also survive in captivity. They are given generous amounts of food and room to roam. However, this is almost nothing compared to what they have in their natural habitat. Since elephants are naturally driven to live and move on their own, forcing elephants to live in small cages and chaining them up causes a great deal of stress.