Hall of Asian Mammals
The Hall of Asian Mammals focuses on large mammals from India, Myanmar, and Thailand. Animals featured in the hall’s dozen habitat dioramas include the water buffalo, leopard, hoolock gibbon, and rhinoceros. Also represented are the banting, black buck, chinkara, chital or axis deer, guar, sambar, swamp deer, wild dog, and thamin or Eld’s deer.
Like the Akeley Hall of African Mammals, this hall features a centerpiece grouping of freestanding elephants, encouraging comparisons between the two types—the Asian elephant being generally smaller than the African elephant and having smaller ears and a higher forehead.
Many of the animals represented in this hall are threatened by poaching and loss of habitat. In fact, in the 1990s, two Asian mammals, the Siberian tiger and the giant panda, were placed in the case featuring endangered species in the Hall of Biodiversity.
Asian elephants used to live in areas stretching from Iraq to southern China, where some still live wild. The habitats these forest mammals once occupied have been cut down to make way for farms and villages. They are now mostly confined to hilly regions where human contact is minimal