Asian Elephant (Elephas Maximus)
Well hello! I'm the Asian Elephant. The difference between me and the African Elephant is I have smaller ears, a rounder back, 19 ribs instead of 21, but most of all I'm so much more friendly. In fact I'm a charmer and an entertainer. If you ever see an elephant at the circus, it will without doubt be an Asian elephant as we are easily domesticated (we like to be looked after and let someone else worry about where the food is coming from) and we form loving bonds with humans.
The matriarch elephant (that is the most senior female and generally the oldest) in a herd is responsible for remembering who our friends are. She also has a great memory for routes (no need for Sat Nav when she is around!). She's the one who leads the herd along our traditional migration routes, hence the expression 'an elephant never forgets'.
However, this terrific and uncompromising memory has been part of the contributing factors to our decline and we're now seriously endangered. You see humans tend not to think that it might not be a good idea to build a house or grow crops on our migratory routes. If someone has done this we won't walk round a house, or a field of crops, we'll trample right through knocking houses down and trampling crops. We are also known to sneak into farmers fields at night and have a bit of an eating session. Of course the humans get rather cross and the result is they kill us. Another factor in our decline is we've been heavily hunted for our spectacular tusks, so our numbers are really low now. The last count estimated that there are only about 32,000 of us left in the wild.
What can you do? Please don't buy anything made from ivory (that's what sellers call our tusks), it may look beautiful, but to get it they have to kill a fully grown male Asian elephant, and we take rather a long time to grow up. You can also help stop the forests we live in being cleared by only purchasing Forest Stewardship Council-certified products.
Wear your Animal Tails T-shirt of me with pride, and tell everyone I must be saved. Its time to save the Asian Elephant - and don't forget that!