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Elephants: Pygmy Elephant

© written by Tasha Guenther

Borneo Pygmy Elephant
Photographer: Colin Bradley; License CC BY 2.0

Elephants are primarily split into two different types, the African elephant and the Asian elephant. African elephants are the largest living land animals. Asian elephants are much smaller than African elephants and are found primarily in India and China. There is, however, another kind of elephant even smaller than the Asian... the Pygmy elephant!

The Borneo Pygmy elephant (E. m. borneensis) is found primarily in Borneo, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Unfortunately, with less than 2,000 left in the wild, these cute mammals are on the endangered species list. Logging, human encroachment, and poaching are to blame.

Pygmy elephants are a subspecies of Asian elephants that only grow, at the biggest, 2.5 metres. Since they are so small, their ears look massive in comparison!

Humans distinguish a small pygmy elephant from its larger fellow Asian and African relatives by the size of its ears, the straightness of its tusks, and most importantly, by the cuteness of its face--which always looks like a baby elephant's (*aw*).