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F.A.Q. on Indian Elephants

Frequently Asked Questions on Elephants of India
by K. L. Kamat and Vikas Kamat
First Online: January 02, 2003
Page Last Updated: May 09, 2017

What is Must? Durable Link to Item
Must (a.k.a. Musth) is state when the male elephants go into heat. The bulls become desperate for female company and go to far distances or engage in fierce fights for the privileges of  mating.


How are the elephants caught and trained ? Durable Link to Item
Traditionally the Khedda system was used to catch the wild elephants. It was an ingenious system involving lots of people driving the elephants to a trap, starving them, and then taming them.

These days, elephants are bred in captivity, like zoos and in circus companies.


What or how much do elephants eat? Durable Link to Item
Elephants are vegetarians.

An elephant in the wild eats about 200 to 300 kilograms of food everyday! In the process, it is said that it would destroy vegetation weighing about 1000 kilograms.

Elephants in captivity are fed a mixture of processed wheat, grains, and vegetables. Elephants trained for special religious festivities in India are fed butter, sugarcane, and other favorite food specific to the elephant.

Elephants also drink about 100 liters of water everyday.


How much does an elephant weigh? Durable Link to Item
An average elephant weighs between 10,000 and 12,000 pounds..

What is the genus species name for elephants of India? Durable Link to Item
Elephas maximus is the binomial nomenclature (scientific name) for Indian elephant.

What is the lifespan of Asian elephant? Durable Link to Item
The life span of Asian elephants is 60 years in the wild and 80 years in captivity. Due of  poachers and adverse natural conditions the big animals have to overcome, it is estimated that  half of all elephants die before they are 15 years old, and only one-fifth of all elephants reach the age of 30 years. 

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See Also:

  • Kamat's Animals -- Real, imaginary, and holy Animals from India. Includes elephants, tigers, birds, insects, and other fantastic creatures.

The Elephants of India
Indian Elephants

Herd of Wild Elephants Visiting a Water PointA Majestic Tusker in the WildThe Lone TuskerA Domesticated Elephant
The Elephant WalkFeeding the Elephant GodLogo of the GangasElephant Hunt
The Royal Elephant RideMysore Dasara ProcessionA Lone Tusker in Bandipur National ForestThe Mahut and his Pet
Elephant, Amber PalaceSculpture of Elephant in Rut

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