Oh, and further, Asian elephants now are bred specifically (when they are deliberately bred) for utility in farming and forestry, which would tend to require a smaller, more “nimble” elephant that is also more tractable. A large war elephant would not have the temperament to move logs all day, and would be more difficult to restrain and would have a harder time navigating the dense forests of Asia. So on top of most of the big war elephants possibly having been all but wiped out in battles, those that were left were probably not bred back into the population due to their now-undesirable tendencies.
I’d bet I could have Asian war elephants that towered over even Savannah elephants within three or four generations again, if I tried.
Not sure about the following anecdotal story’s veracity, but here goes- attended a motivational seminar with Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, and Captain Gerald Coffey?/Coffee? who was a VN POW. Brian Tracy spoke on how an elephant is trained. In it’s youth, a large rope is attached to one of it’s legs. Try as it might, it cannot break free, tugging, pulling, sounding, etc. Over and over it tries. Day after day after day, until finally giving up. Then it is easy to restrain the animal with a rope for it has been conditioned to believe that it can never escape from it’s captivity as long as the rope is attached to it’s leg. In maturity, the elephant can easily escape captivity due to it’s enormous size and strength, but it does not do so for it has been convinced otherwise. Of course, the reason Brian Tracy tells the story, is to knock people out of their conditioned beliefs that keep them held in captivity by their own thoughts, which is akin to the rope, ever so small, tethered (likewise) to the large and powerful elephant.