Q:

How long do elephants live?

A:

Quick Answer

The median lifespan of an elephant in the wild is 56 years for female African elephants and 42 years for female Asian elephants. Elephants can reach ages of over 70 years old. In captivity, elephants only live to be about 17 years old — one year short of adulthood.

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Full Answer

Elephants are the longest-living land mammals, other than humans. The short lives of elephants in captivity is thought to be the result of small artificial enclosures, pervasive diseases, obesity and the lack of large social herds. The oldest recorded elephant is Lin Wang, who died at 86 years old. The Japanese army used him to haul artillery in Burma until 1943, when the Chinese captured him. From 1954 until his death in 2003, Lin Wang lived at the Taipei Zoo in Taiwan.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Can elephants live without tusks?

    A:

    Elephants can survive without tusks. While most elephants have tusks, female Asian elephants don't have any, and some male Asian elephants are born without tusks. Removing an elephant's tusk completely up to its skull can be extremely painful for the animal and can lead death.

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  • Q:

    Where do Indian elephants live?

    A:

    The Indian elephant is broadly distributed, but its main population group, which equals more than half the species' numbers, is in India with smaller populations in Borneo and the Andaman Islands. The population in Borneo was considered vestigial in 2015 and, in general, any population group outside India tends to be much smaller and less robust in terms of its breeding potential and habitat range.

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  • Q:

    Do elephants live in the jungle?

    A:

    Asian elephants inhabit moist lowland forests, dry teak forests and grasslands, while African elephants inhabit savanna areas in the Sahara Desert and rain forests throughout central and western Africa. African elephants are split into the two subspecies of savannah and forest, and Asian elephants are split into the four subspecies of Sri Lankan, Indian, Sumatran and Borneo. One of the greatest threats to elephants' numbers and survival is loss of habitat, and many elephants live in zoos or other captivity.

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  • Q:

    Where do African elephants live?

    A:

    African elephants, the largest land animals on Earth, are found in sub-Saharan Africa. These elephants live in a range of climates on the African continent, from the Sahel desert in Mali to the rain forests of central and West Africa.

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