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Elephant Adventures

The elephants found in Malaysia are of the Asian variety (Elephas maximus); the other being the African Elephant (Africana loxodonta). Elephants in Malaysia are similar to the elephants found throughout Asia, hence its vernacular name: "Asian Elephants." As late as the 1970s, elephants were found throughout Malaysia, today only seven–or fewer–states remain home to these magnificant giants.

The elephant was aso once a part of Malaysia's cultural heritage. They were used on farms; provided transportation; laboured as beasts of burden; paraded beside royalty and a were once a symbol of wealth. However, the elephant lost its place in Malaysian heritage sometime after World War II

Elephant Catching
"Elephant Catching"
Dating as far back as 1895, these photos depict elephant catching activities in at the turn of the 20th century in Perak in a series of newspaper articles archived by


HD Noone A 1930s-era photography of anthropologist Pat Noone on an elephant son after his arrival in Malaya.

This picture was reproduced from the book Rape of the Dream People, by Richard Noone.

Asian vs African Elephants

There are a number of differences between Asian and African elephants, including the size and shape of the different elephants. We summarize them below:


Indian Elephant Indian Elephant Indian Elephant
A tuskless female Asian elephant. This is Lokimala, an Asian elephant imported from India by wildlife authorities in the 1970s for use in wild elephant management programs. Tusks only in occur in some male bull elephants, such as Lasah, pictured here, on Langkawi. Unlike Asian Elephants, both male and female African elephants sport tusks–which is why more African elephants were hunted for ivory than its Asian cousin. Some females, howeer, do not have tusks.

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Revised April 22, 2013
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