AsiaNews.it. (2008, March 18). Elephants at risk of extinction because of ruthless hunting by farmers. [Online]. Available: http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=11800&size=A [2008, May 13].
elephants; endangered; extinction; hunting; farmers; poaching; Asia; conflict; habitat; deforestation
Elephants are at risk of disappearing from entire countries in Asia, because of ruthless hunting by farmers who are defending their fields. All over, rapid deforestation and the expansion of planting has increased the age-old conflict between elephants and farmers. The elephants are ravenous eaters of bananas, rice, sugar cane, and melons, and devastate entire plantations.
It is estimated that there are still between 40,000 and 50,000 elephants in Asia. But in 6 of the 13 countries where they live (Bangladesh, China, Bhutan, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Nepal), there are no more than 300.
Experts observe that rodents, birds, and monkeys cause much more damage to the fields, but the elephants are more hated because their herds often destroy everything and kill or wound the farmers. In India, the home of about 60% of Asia's wild elephants, it is calculated that between 200 and 250 people die each year while resisting the foraging animals. In response, the rural population kills...