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Asian Elephant (Endangered Species)

Éléphant se rafraîchissant à la rivière

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Asian Elephant (Endangered Species)

Despite its venerated status, the Asian elephant has never been safe from the harmful effects of human activity. This animal, domesticated 5,000 years ago, has suffered a drastic population decline in the last century. Today, the Asian elephant is in danger of extinction.

Over the centuries, this elephant has been enlisted for various duties, depending on the needs of humans. In Asia, it was for a long time long a traditional means of transportation. It has also served as a logging machine as well as a vehicle of war. Today, domesticated elephants are often used to provide exotic rides for tourists.

This huge pachyderm, hunted for meat and ivory and a victim of intensive deforestation, once thrived across the Asian continent, but is now confined to small and increasingly rare habitats.

The fast-growing human population of Asia is constantly chipping away at the territories where the elephant could live in freedom. This pressure continues to fragment the elephant’s former range and, at the same time, destabilizes populations.

Deforestation and urban growth are the primary factors driving elephants from their natural habitat. The animals consequently find themselves ever closer to cities and villages, causing property damage and sometimes killing humans.

The Asian elephant still roams free and safe from poaching in a number of sanctuaries set aside for it. In the wild, their population totals only about 30,000 individuals scattered over a dozen countries of South and Southeast Asia. Domesticated elephants reportedly number about 17,000 individuals.

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