Asian Elephants of the Bardia National Park

A treasure of diverse wildlife, the Bardia National Park is a must-visit place if you like to spot wild animals in their untouched habitats.

2, Jan 2023 |

Its isolated and secluded setting has maintained the park’s ecologies, including animals, unlike any other site in the country.

The strongest indication that Nepal is more than just mountains is the Bardia National Park. In addition to the loft Himalayan peaks, Nepal also offers verdant rainforests teeming with wildlife.

Lying in the country’s westernmost region, the Bardia National Park is actually closer to Delhi, India, than it is to Kathmandu. It is one of the few remaining unspoiled wilderness in Nepal. Its isolated and secluded setting has maintained the park’s ecologies, including animals, unlike any other site in the country.

The Bardia National Park is the largest national park in the lowlands of Nepal covering 986 sq. km. The Western Terai region of Nepal is home to the park. It was created to preserve tigers and the habitats of other species they prey on to safeguard the varied ecosystems there. The park was the royal hunting ground and was later renamed as the Bardia Wildlife Reserve in 1982, and it was expanded to its present size in 1984. In 1988, the reserve received the designation of a National Park. The buffer zone around the park is managed by the park and other stakeholders in the neighbourhood. Together, they started communal development initiatives and looked after the buffer zone’s natural resources. The best times to visit the park are in the morning or late afternoon because animals are more active at these times of the day.

The park’s vast, untamed environment provides a range of activities. Around 70% of the forest has a mix of grassland and riverine woods. The Bengal florican, smaller florican, and Sarus crane are three endangered species found in the park. The park region has been home to more than 30 distinct animal species, 230 different bird species, and numerous snakes, reptiles, and species of fishes. A number of migratory species of birds arrive at the park during winter.

The park is also home to several threatened species, including the large one horned rhinoceroses, Asian elephants, swamp deer, and black bucks. The gangetic dolphins, and the gharial and marsh mugger crocodiles are among the other endangered species.

The Asian elephant is somewhat smaller than its African relative. The smaller, rounder ears of Asian elephants serve as a visual cue. They are found in the woods of Nepal, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos in Southeast Asia. Almost a third of Asian elephants are found in captivity.

Elephants consume greens, a lot of roots, grasses, fruits, and barks. An adult elephant on an average can consume up to 300 pounds in a single day. The Asian elephants are crepuscular animals, and they prefer sleeping all day and are active at dawn and twilight.

Elephants are believed to be one of the most intelligent animals among all. They are akin to humans, big apes and several dolphin species as they have highly advanced neo-cortexes. They exhibit a wide range of traits linked to high IQ, including empathy, imitation, sadness, altruism, usage of tools, and self awareness.

In the wild, adult male elephants, known as bulls, often travel on their own, while female elephants, known as cows, dwell in close knit family groups with their young. Elephants give birth over the longest period of time of any mammal; almost 22 months. Cows typically give birth to one calf every two to four years. Elephants are roughly three feet tall and 200 pounds when they are born.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists the Asian Elephant as endangered. There are thought to be between 20000 and 40000 Asian elephants living in the wild today after a fall in their population of around 50% over the last 75 years.

The loss of habitat due to deforestation and agricultural expansion, and conflict between the  human and elephants are all threats to the wild Asian elephant population. Elephants look for space and clear the crops growing near their homes in the forest. That is why they clash with humans, who protect their crops.

Well, despite the dangers, the Asian elephants in the sanctuary of the Bardia National Park live relatively in a safer environment. If you spot one at the Bardia National Park that has been domesticated, do not forget to stroke its trunk!

Compiled By: Rebika Bishokarma 

Photos By: Sam BalyeJason ZhaoSilver Ringvee

Also Read:

Bardiya National Park

Top 5 Endangered Animal Species Of Nepal

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