Elephant Facts

Asian Elephants

The Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), is found in 13 countries on both the Asian mainland and a number of islands. Asian elephants are divided into four sub species. Elephas Maximus Indicus is sometimes called the Indian elephant is found across continental Asia as far as China and Vietnam. Asian elephants are smaller than African, with noticeably smaller ears. Only some male elephants have tusks and some females have small tushes.

Elephas maximus maximus, or the Sri Lankan elephant, is the largest of the Asian elephants. However, Sri Lankan bulls appear less predisposed to growing tusks. The Sri Lankan elephant is only found on the island of Sri Lanka.

Elephas maximus sumatranus, or the Sumatran elephant, is only found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It is the second smallest of the Asian elephants.

Elephas maximus borneensis, or the Borneo elephant, was only classified as a separate sub species in 2003 after tests revealed differences in the genetic makeup from mainland elephants. The Borneo elephant is the smallest of the sub species and sometimes referred to as a pygmy elephant. These elephants are only found on the island of Borneo, which is shared between Indonesia, Malaysia and the Kingdom of Brunei.

Elephants In Indonesia

Two of the four sub species of Asian elephants are found in Indonesia. The Sumatran elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) is only found on the island of Sumatra the Borneo or pygmy elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis). The Borneo sub species are found in the Indonesian province of Kalimantan, near the Malaysian province of Sabah.

Indonesia Elephant Population Figures

  • Elephant Range: 105,000 km² (including Sumatra and Kalimantan combined)
  • Total Wild Elephants in SUMATRA: 1,000 to 1,500
  • Total Wild Elephants in KALIMANTAN:  500 to 1,000