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Pachyderms: Pint Sized Surprise

Today's creature feature is on a petite pachyderm that has dark gray to reddish brown skin and abundant hair that is finer and softer than a "normal" elephant. And, it stands only six to eight feet tall.

But, don't let its size fool you. This critter can scarf down 330 pounds of veggies a day!

Remember the Disney movie "Dumbo," the story about a little elephant that wasn't very well understood by its own circus family? Well, the same could be true for the pygmy elephant. For sometime, the biggest question was whether it was a mutant, or subspecies. It wasn't until 2006 when a DNA study disclosed that they were not just a freak of nature, but a distinct subspecies of the familiar Asian elephant.

Most pygmy elephants live in the forests of Malaysia -- on the island of Borneo -- an area where logging, plantations, and other human activities have reduced forests by almost half in recent years. The World Wildlife Fund reports that there are probably no more than 1,600 left in the wild.

Script by Bob Rhein

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