The elephant has had symbolic meaning for many cultures. The elephant has long been regarded as a symbol of divine wisdom in India.
Sovereigns often assumed titles such as "lord of the elephants" or "the white elephant". The qualities of the elephant are recognized throughout the Orient: longevity, strength, patience, endurance and self-restraint. The ability of elephants to aid in battle led to their additional symbolic meaning of triumph, power and victory. Elephants are large land mammals with only three species living today: African Bush elephant, African forest elephant and Asian elephant.
The elephant's gestation period is 22 months, the longest of any animal. The name elephant originates with the Greek word for "ivory".