When you think of elephants, the name Hannibal will often come to mind.

But very little is known about Hannibal’s elephants, and for a very good reason. The sub-species is extinct.

The above is a Carthaginian shekel from about 237-227 BC. The elephant is very much smaller than we would expect from a war-elephant.

The above is just an artist’s impression of Hannibal’s march on Rome. It is based on much larger elephants, such as we can now find in southern Africa.

So what happened to the elephants that Hannibal enlisted in his army?