Cambodian elephants belong to the Elephas maximus genus which are found throughout Southeast Asia from India in the west to Borneo in the east.
Asian elephants are the largest living land animals in Asia.
Cambodian elephants’ are an endangered animal. They are threatened by a loss of habitat and by poaching. There are approximately 75 captive elephants in Cambodia. About 50 of these live in Mondulkiri Province. In the forests of Cambodia there are approximately 400 elephants. About 250 of these live in Mondulkiri Province. As more roads are built in Mondulkiri more logging and habitat destruction is further endangering the future for the Cambodian elephant.
Cambodia elephants are smaller than elephants found in Africa. Their shoulder height is up to 2.7 metres for male and 2.2 metres for a female. A female Cambodia elephant’s average weight is 3 tonnes and a large Male can weigh 6 tonnes.
The trunk of a Cambodia elephant is an amazing thing. It is a nose and an upper lip combined. The tip of the trunk can has two finger like parts to pick up food. The trunk contains 60,000 muscles (a human only has 639). Cambodia elephant use their trunks for breathing, watering, feeding, touching, dusting, sound production and communication, washing, pinching, grasping, defense and offense. The trunk can lift a weight of 300kgs and can hold about 4 litres of water.
Cambodia elephant males have tusks, but the females usually don’t.
Cambodia elephants are highly intelligent and self-aware. They are in the same category as great apes in terms of cognitive abilities for making and using tools.
Cambodia elephants eat a lot of food – up to 150kg a day. They will eat for almost 20 hours a day. Their favourite foods a are bananas and bamboo. They drink at least once a day and are never far from a permanent source of water. They need 80-200 litres of water a day and use even more for bathing.
Cambodia elephant has a gestation period of 18-22 months and usually do not breed more than once every 4-5 years. Cambodia elephant reached adulthood at 17 years of age. Cambodia elephant life expectancy is 60 years in the wild and 80 years in captivity.