Sumatran Elephant, Elephas maximus sumatranus

The Sumatran elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) is a subspecies of the Asian elephant that can be found on the island of Sumatra in forested areas. This species reaches an average height between 6.6 and 10 feet at the shoulders, with a weight between 4,400 and 8,800 pounds. It has lighter skin than the other subspecies of the Asian elephant, maximus and indicus, and has some depigmentation on its body. Females have been recorded living for up to seventy-five years in captivity, but only up to sixty years in the wild.

The Sumatran elephant once a held a population of up to 4,800 elephants, but its population is now estimated to be between 2,400–2,800 individuals in the wild. The main threat to this subspecies is human encroachment, which causes habitat loss and local extinctions, and conflict between the elephants and humans, including poaching. Conservation efforts for this elephant are focused on protecting populations, including those in and out of protected areas, and habitats. It is protected by law in all areas of its range and is listed on CITES Appendix I. The Sumatran elephant appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of Critically Endangered.”

Image Caption: Sumatran Elephant, Elephas maximus sumatranus, Ragunan Zoo, Jakarta, Indonesia. Credit: Midori/Wikipedia (CC BY 3.0)