The Full Wiki

More info on Kallana

Kallana: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kallana is a malayalam name of specious of dwarf elephant allegedly found in South India.[1] Kaani tribals dwelling in the rainforests of the Western Ghats (Kerala, India) claim that there are two distinct varieties of elephants in the Peppara forest range, one the common Indian elephants, and the other a dwarf variety which they call Kallana.[2] The name Kallana comes from the words "Kallu", which means stones or boulders, and "aana", which means elephant. The tribals gave the creatures this name because they see the smaller elephant more often in the higher altitudes where the terrain is rocky. Some tribals also call the delicate creatures Thumbiaana, (thumbi means dragonfly), for the speed with which the pachyderms run through trees and rocks when disturbed.

Behaviour and diet

According to the Kani tribals, pygmy elephant feed on grass, bamboo leaves, tubers and the barks of smaller trees. Like all elephants, they enjoy bathing in rivers and they too have dust baths. Unlike larger elephants, however, they seem able to negotiate steep, rocky inclines.

Sightings and acknowledgement of existence

The existence of a pygmy variety of elephant in India is yet to be scientifically ascertained. If the claims of Kani tribals are believed there are ample reasons to believe that the "Kallana" they describe is a different pygmy variety of elephant since it is claimed to grow to a maximum height of 5 feet (1.5 metres), and do not mix with the more common Indian elephants, even taking pains to avoid them. In all other respects, they look like Indian elephants.

For the past fifteen years the forest officials and inhabitants of the Agastya Malai region have always heard Kani tribals talking about Kallanas, but there were never any confirmed sightings. Recently Sali Palode, a Kerala-based wildlife photographer, and Mallan Kani, a member of Kerala’s Kani tribe, who were in search of this elusive elephant were able to photograph one such dwarf elephant, and even claim to have seen a herd.

Some experts, of course, continue to dispute the claims and vociferously maintain that these are baby elephants. Only scientific study can establish the truth; it is perhaps interesting to note that the pygmy elephants of the Congo basin appear to be African Forest Elephants that due to causes unknown - perhaps local ecological conditions — mature and/or stop growing at a small size (Debruyne et al. 2003).[3] In any case, the effort of Sali Palode and the Mallan Kani will herald a new vigour to ascertain the truth,by detailed research The Kerala Forest Department has recently deputed search teams to the forests of Agasthyavanam, Neyyar and the Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary to search for the pygmy elephants.


  1. ^ P. Venugopal (2005-01-19). "Kerala: Pygmy elephants found in State forests?". The Hindu.  
  2. ^ P.S. Suresh Kumar (2008-01-18). "Tamil Nadu: 21 elephants found in Western Ghats at Kanyakumari: census". The Hindu.  
  3. ^ Debruyne R, Van Holt A, Barriel V, Tassy P (July 2003). "Status of the so-called African pygmy elephant (Loxodonta pumilio (NOACK 1906)): phylogeny of cytochrome b and mitochondrial control region sequences". C. R. Biol. 326 (7): 687–97. PMID 14556388.  


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address