With reference to Indian elephants, consider the following statements:
- The leader of an elephant group is a female.
- The maximum gestation period can be 22 months.
- An elephant can normally go on calving till the age of 40 years only.
- Among the States in India, the highest elephant population is in Kerala.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2020 Prelims]
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 4 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 3 and 4 only
- The leader of an elephant group is the oldest female. She leads the group in search of food and water. Hence statement 1 is true.
- The gestation period of the breeding pair is nearly 22 months which yields a single baby. During birth, females of the herd surround the mother for her protection. Hence statement 2 is correct.
- The average life expectancy of an elephant is 70 years and at the age of 18 years, its adulthood starts. Hence statement 3 is incorrect.
- South Indian states dominate in having a number of elephants. Among the south Indian states, Karnataka leads the table with 6,049 elephants followed by Kerala. Hence statement 4 is incorrect.