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African Or Asian Elephant: Which Is Better?

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Sarus Crane, 10 Jan 2021.

  1. Sarus Crane

    Sarus Crane Well-Known Member

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    I hope that this isn't a stupid question, but I was wondering if a zoo wanted to start getting into elephants which species should they consider? What made me ponder this question is:

    1) Which species is more adaptable with weather hardiness (cold vs hot temps)?
    2) Which species is more popular with the public?
    3) Which species breeds more readily in captivity and has a better rate of survival against EEHV?
    4) Which species is generally more readily available (AZA/ZAA transfers)?
    5) Which species is least expensive overall if you have the same number of animals and genders at a given facility?
    6) Which species drives more enthusiasm for conservation efforts in the wild?

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  2. Mai Thai

    Mai Thai Well-Known Member

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    1) Asian
    2) African
    3) Asian
    4) Asian
    5) Asian
    6) African
     
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  3. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    1. Asian
    2. I really don't think the average person knows the difference, if they do probably African
    5. Asian
    6. African
     
  4. Haliaeetus

    Haliaeetus Well-Known Member

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    1/ Asian
    2/ African
    3/ Asian
    4/ Asian
    5/ Asian
    6/ Both. Even if the African elephants are more known by the public, Asian can prove to be very interesting, even if there's a well-designed Asian zone (Asia hosts a lot of charismatic species, including Tigers, Rhinos, Orang-utans...).
     
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  5. CheeseChameleon1945

    CheeseChameleon1945 Well-Known Member

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    My same answers. I agree.
     
  6. Elephantelephant

    Elephantelephant Well-Known Member

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    1) asian
    2) african
    3) asian (it is more peaceful and gives birth to more calves) and african (greater chances of calves surviving, dying very rarely at EEHV)
    4) asian
    5) asian
    6) probably african
     
  7. Hyak_II

    Hyak_II Well-Known Member

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    1) Asians
    2) Both are equally popular, I would say
    3) Both species, with the right management and individuals, can be equally prolific. That said, Asians tend to hit sexual maturity a bit faster in captivity than Africans. In terms of survival against EEHV, definitely Africans.
    4) Asians
    5) Assuming no health issues, costs will be about the same. However if it is a breeding group, Asians will likely end up being the more expensive of the two due to potential EEHV issues down the road (it is NOT cheap to treat!)
    6) They both have very strong conservation messages, Africans mainly through poaching, and Asians mainly through human/elephant conflict and habitat loss.
     
  8. Sarus Crane

    Sarus Crane Well-Known Member

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    I like both species. With the EEHV I would choose African, but overall I would pick Asian. Big old bulls look prehistoric especially those from Northern India and Nepal.
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    [​IMG]

    This is especially true for bulls from Dalip's (Zoo Miami) lineage. As they mature their front legs keep growing as they get older while their rear ones slow down making them look more like a mammoth. Some bulls have towering craniums reminiscent of Palaeoloxodon recki.


    As for Africans big adult bulls can look just as impressive with their broad premaxillaries and heavy wrinkled skin. I've visited Jacksonville zoo over the years since 2005 and it has been such a treat seeing Ali, Michael Jackson's elephant mature into a good looking bull.


    Either way like how everyone has posted here there are many reasons to choose and depending upon budget and program priorities. They both make great options.
     
  9. Galapagos Penguin

    Galapagos Penguin Well-Known Member

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    Asian elephants fit more of a child-like look, and I can see them more in forest, tropical and river settings. African elephants, I visualize in dry, humid settings and overall look more intimidating. Personally, I like Asian elephants better, but I like both.
     
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  10. Sarus Crane

    Sarus Crane Well-Known Member

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    I always thought Asians were more intimidating because their smaller ears make their heads look bigger and their overal physique looks more prehistoric. I always thought Africans look kinda goofy with the big ears.
     
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