In the world we find two different species of Elephants: African and Asian elephants, which are divided into other subspecies. The African elephant in savannah and forest species, while the Asian elephant is divided into four subspecies (Sri Lankan, Indian, Sumatran and Borneo).
At the turn of the 20th century, there were a few million African elephants and about 100,000 Asian elephants. Today, there are an estimated 420.000 African elephants and between 35.000 – 40.000 wild Asian elephants.
Elephants form deep family bonds and live in tight matriarchal family groups of related females, called a herd. The herd is led by the oldest and often largest female in the herd, called a matriarch. Herds consist of 8-100 individuals depending on terrain and family size. When a calf is born, it is raised and protected by the whole matriarchal herd. Males leave the family unit between the ages of 12-15 and may lead solitary lives or live temporarily with other males.
Elephants are extremely intelligent animals and have memories that span many years. It is this memory that serves matriarchs well during dry seasons when they need to guide their herds, sometimes for tens of miles, to watering holes that they remember from the past. An elephant can live for about 70 years.