Elephants are among the largest mammals living today. Due to their large sizes, they eat quite lot and drink much just to maintain their bulky bodies. Asian Elephants however are smaller in size than their African cousins; their ears too are smaller resembling the map of ‘India’ as compared to those of African elephants whose ears resemble the map of Africa. Asian Elephants are special in several ways, such as:
- Due to their tamable nature, they have helped people for over 400 years with transport during times of peace and war. They have been known to access even the deepest parts of the jungles or swamps where access is limited for humans.
- Elephants have been used in entertaining guests in circus over the years. In tourism, they are the best platforms for viewing other animals and taking photos on top of their backs.
- They support culture in the Asian communities where some even regard them as gods due to their strength and nature.
- People hold them special in that they do even some works which have proved tough for mechanical equipment like loading trucks in the jungle, and dragging heavy loads in the deep thickets.
- The value of their ivory is priceless
Due to these factors, they have been hunted over the years and their existence has been threatened by humans greatly to a point where their wild populations have become endangered. This follows rampant poaching for their ivory and animal/ human conflicts. Due to their feeding habits, humans regard elephants as pests since they destroy crops when they invade farms. Large portions of their wild territory have been cleared for agriculture, thus threatening their existence.
This calls for drastic conservation measures to save these mammals and foundations like Dilma conservation have taken the right steps with projects like the Elephant Transit home ETH in Udawalawe national park where orphaned Asian elephant calves are adopted, and given special care to survive.
To learn more about Conservation Projects visit Dilmah Conservation.