Do Elephants Live In The Jungle?

  • 4 min read
  • Elephants
Do Elephants Live In The Jungle?

Did you know that there are a couple of different types of elephants? There’s the Asian elephant, the African savannah elephant, and the African forest elephant! But, do any of these elephants live in the jungle? 

Do elephants live in the jungle?

There are two different types of elephants – African elephants and Asian elephants – and of the African elephants, there are two subspecies- forest elephants and savannah elephants. Out of all of these types of elephants, only the African forest elephant lives in the jungle! 

The African forest elephant is an elusive type of elephant that lives in the dense rainforest areas of central and west Africa.

Since they live in such densely wooded forests, it is hard for wildlife experts to estimate how many of these elephants live in the wild. Instead of counting them like they traditionally do, scientists do “dung counts,” which is when they analyze the amount of dung found in an area to estimate how many of these elephants there are.  

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These African forest elephants have some differences from African savannah elephants. Forest elephants are smaller than their savannah counterparts. They also have more oval-shaped ears and straighter tusks than savannah elephants. 

How big are African forest elephants? 

African forest elephants are usually about 8 to 10 feet tall, and they usually weigh about 2 to 5 tons. For comparison, African savannah elephants are usually about 11 feet tall and weigh about 6 tons, and Asian elephants are about 6 to 11 feet tall and weigh an average of about 5 tons.  

African Forest Elephants
African Forest Elephants

Where do African elephants live? 

At one point, African elephants roamed all of the continents of Africa. But today, they have a much smaller range. African elephants are broken up into two groups – savannah elephants and forest elephants. The highest concentration of African savannah elephants lives in the eastern and southern parts of Africa.

These savannah elephants can be found in the countries of Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The highest concentration of African forest elephants is found in the rainforest zones in west and central Africa, where they live in highly dense forest areas. 

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Where do Asian elephants live? 

Asian elephants are found in isolated areas of Borneo, India, and Sumatra (all areas of Southeast Asia). These elephants are considered to be forest animals, but they do not live in dense forests like African forest elephants do.

Instead, these elephants prefer areas with a little bit of forest and a little bit of open grassy areas. This is best for them because they can go under trees to get a break from the harsh sun, but they also can get the food that they like that cannot be found in jungle-like forests.  

Asian elephants are also very adaptable to different environments. These elephants may migrate to different areas in order to find enough food and water.

These animals are not territorial, so they will move around throughout their home area. This home range is usually anywhere from 6 square miles to 580 square miles. 

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What is the difference between African elephants and Asian elephants? 

African vs Asian Elephant
African vs. Asian Elephant

The easiest way to differentiate between African and Asian elephants is to look at their ears. African elephants have larger ears, and their ears actually look a bit like the continent of Africa.

Asian elephants have smaller and more round ears. This is because African elephants live in a hotter climate, and their ears will help to dissipate body heat. 

African elephants have a more round head shape, while Asian elephants have a head that looks more two domed. Another difference between these two elephants is their tusks. Both male and female African elephants can have tusks, but only male Asian elephants have tusks.  

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What do elephants eat? 

Elephants love to eat! Elephants usually spend about 16 to 18 hours a day eating, and they can eat up to 375 pounds of food a day. Elephants will eat grasses, small plants, bushes, fruits, and roots, but their favorite food is tree bark.

This is because it contains calcium and roughage, which help with their digestion. Elephants will use their tusks to tear bark from the trees.  

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Adrian Volenik

I've lived around animals my whole life and I hold a Diploma in Animal Physiology. When I'm not reading or writing about wild animals, health and fitness, and technology, you can find me playing with my son and two cats. My pastimes include running, playing video games, and solving the NY Times crossword.

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