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Percentages and Elephants: Cultural Significance of Elephants
Taronga has been involved in elephant conservation throughout its history and over time this has evolved to include breeding Asian Elephants at Taronga Zoo and also supporting a number of conservation programs in the wild across both African and Asia.
World Wildlife Foundation
Elephants have been revered for centuries in Asia, playing an important role in the continent's culture and religion. They are also play a critical role in maintaining the region's forests. But their habitat is shrinking and Asian elephants are now endangered.
Asian elephants, already endangered in Indonesia and Thailand, are being threatened further by human encroachment and illegal trade. In Sumatra, Indonesia, just 2,500 Sumatran elephants remain. As their last great forest habitat is being logged at a feverish pace to make way for palm oil plantations, elephants are pushed into conflict with local people.
In Thailand and Myanmar, an illegal and brutal trade in wild baby elephants is contributing to declining elephant populations. On the Thai-Myanmar border, at least 50-100 elephant calves and young females are removed from their forest homes every year and are traded illegally to supply tourist camps. Countless elephants die in the process, threatening the remaining populations of this endangered species.
These original investigative reports are produced in collaboration with The Ecologist Film Unit and Elephant Family.
The relationship between elephants and people is, and has been, an extraordinary one. Captive elephants have an important place in the history, religion and culture of many countries, especially in Asia.
Thai Elephant and Conservation Centre
The elephant has long played a central role in all aspects of Thai art and culture. In culture, the elephant permeates Thai language, ranging from pithy folk expressions to classical poetry.
The National Elephant Centre
The National Elephant Center is a 225-acre home for elephants with the potential to expand in the future. We provide short-term and long-term care for North American elephants in support of the accredited zoo population and for the welfare of elephants in need.