Young Asian Elephant, playing and balances on a tree trunk, at Diergaarde Blijdorp, Rotterdam (Holland)
Asian or Asiatic Elephants are much smaller than the African Elephants only growing to a couple of meters tall. Asian Elephants are found in the tropical jungles of India and China, and throughout most countries in south-east Asia. The Asian Elephant has smaller ears than the African Elephant and the Asian Elephant also has a more curved spine than the African Elephant. Unlike the African Elephants, the female Asian Elephant very rarely have tusks, and if the female Asian Elephant does have tusks, they are generally barely visible and can only be seen when the female Asian Elephant opens her mouth. Asian Elephants are herbivorous animals meaning that they only eat plants and plant matter in order to gain all of the nutrients that they need to survive. Asian Elephants eat a wide variety of vegetation including grasses, leaves, shoots, barks, fruits, nuts and seeds. Asian Elephants often use their long trunk to assist them in gathering food. Today, the Asian Elephant is considered to be an animal that is in immediate danger of becoming extinct due to the fact that Asian Elephant populations have been declining at a critical rate. Asian Elephants are thought to be suffering primarily due to habitat loss in the form of deforestation and hunting for their ivory tusks by human poachers.
Diergaarde Blijdorp, officially Rotterdam Zoo, is a zoo located in the northwestern part of Rotterdam. It is one of the oldest zoos in the Netherlands, and has been operated by the Stichting Koninklijke Rotterdamse Diergaarde ("Royal Rotterdam Zoo Foundation"). Divided into several zoogeographic regions, the 26-hectare (64.25-acre) Blijdorp Zoo is home to more than 180 species. It also has a shop, multiple cafes, and an information centre. The zoo is a member of the Dutch Zoo Federation (NVD) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). In 2007, it celebrated its 150th anniversary.