Thursday, January 1, 2009

Fine Forgotton Friends: The Elephant

I’m designing a new line of animals to branch out beyond those endangered in B.C. I’m going to start with a few that are either endangered or critically endangered throughout the world. With the trusty red list as my guide, each Friday I’m going to introduce you to some creatures through out the world that are in a bit of trouble.

Starting with the …the Asian Elephant

The elephant is set apart from other creatures by its mammoth size and above all, its trunk. Rough as the skin of an elephant may appear, the trunk has such fine coordination that it can be used to pick flowers or lift small coins. Smaller than those in Africa, these elephants can get to 12 feet tall and weigh up to 11,000 pounds! The females and even some males don’t have tusks and their forehead has two bulges on either side. The eyes of an elephant are disproportionately small but the folds around them give vast expressiveness.


The biggest threat to the Asian elephant today (as with most endangered animals) is habitat loss and the dreadful conditions of an expanding human population. For centuries elephants have migrated on the same routes and when a new farm is found in the middle of their path they eat or trample crops and are often killed. The future of these elephants, in and out of protected areas, is linked to human–elephant conflicts.

I met a herd of domestic elephants when I was in Thailand and we rode them into the jungle to visit some hill tribes, very amazing. Although they were very well treated they still had those sad and soulful eyes (just like this picture), maybe they see what we’re doing to the world and it breaks their hearts…

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