Asian elephants are smaller than the African elephants.
Asian elephants live on average 60 years.
Asian bull elephants can reach 9 ft in height, and weigh between 7,000-12,000 lbs.
Asian cow elephants can reach 7.5 ft in height, and weigh between 5,000-10,000 lbs.
Newly born baby elephants stand around 3 ft and weigh around 200 lbs. Now that is a big baby! The mother is pregnant for 2 years before the baby is born.
Numbers have declined for a number of reasons, not least hunting, but also the biggest threat they face now is through human population growth that encroaches their grazing land. The literally have nowhere left to go.
Coupled with the lack of work for the domestic elephant, due to the 1989 logging ban (where elephants were treated horribly), the future looks very bleak for the species.
"Don't forget to pack your trunks...
The documentary is very powerful, and often incredibly difficult to watch. Elephants are forced to work on hot tarmac roads by the gangs of elephant owners and beg for fruit and food. The owners of the elephants often buy them purely to obtain begging money from sympathetic passers by. As he has very little experience with animal training, the poor elephant is often cruelly treated and beaten as the owner becomes impatient with it. Obviously in the city the animal cannot possibly get the food or water necessary for it's daily nourishment, so it plods the hot polluted streets, thirsty, hungry and confused.
These elephants quickly suffer from stress through polluted air, poor diet, dehydration, loneliness, and their sensitive ears are soon damaged. Some are even blinded by their owners to make them more obedient. If this wasn't sad enough, one was even blinded by tourist's camera flashes at night.
Many of the unwitting tourists, delighted at the sight of a "cute" baby elephant, are completely unaware that the lifespan of the creature is likely to be only a few years. There were truly some horrendous sights during the documentary, which opened our eyes to a subject we didn't know much about.