Elephant Gardeners

Just as Elephants need their forest, the forest needs them. Dr Blake, researcher with the Mac Planck Institute for Ornithology, describes the elephants as "mega-gardeners". The researcher and his colleagues spent several months camping in the dense forests tracking the elephants. He has found that, during their lumbering treks, forest elephants can vacuum up hundreds of pieces of fruit from under a single tree. 

How long will the Elephants Survive?

How, amidst NATO's missile-defense problems in Europe, the refugee situation in the middle East & Europe, a possible nuclear Iran and the economic failings of modern nations, unemployment and inflation, can the future of the elephant be so urgent?

It is not on the radar of the media nor is it a priority for most people. The answer comes from our ability to affirm life in its moral, ethical and in its spiritual dimensions.


This handsome, driven, wildlife hero spent his entire life in defence of the wild creatures he loved. Brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, he was also Chairman of Elephant Family, a wildlife trust he co-founded along with Lord Robin Russell, Nicholas Claxton, Caroline Casey and Dugal Muller. 

Writing about Mark like he was never going to walk through the door again is downright unreal. To a person, anyone who truly knew him would agree: “Mark was a pure heart.” He had a family in virtually every heart he touched. He was part of Sanctuary’s soul. 

Threats to Domestic Elephants

For thousands of years the elephant was part of the fabric of daily life in Asia. They served primarily to transport goods and people. When the 20th century began, elephants were put to use by the timber industry, destroying their own habitat in the process.

 Except in less-developed Myanmar, the need for elephant labor has steadily declined since World War II, and so has the domesticated Asian elephant population.

Mortality of Asian Elephants

When a potential predator such as a lion or tiger threatens a calf, the adults form a defensive circle with the calf in the middle. Adult elephants are probably not susceptible to predation by any species other than humans.


Mortality of Asian Elephants

Mitigation Steps for Solving Plight of Asian Elephants

Although well protected from international trade, Asian elephants have little protection under domestic laws. Generally, national wildlife agencies in Asia consider the domesticated elephant to be just another domestic animal (and allow their tusks to be sold), while livestock departments consider it wild and not under their jurisdiction. 

"So it's in a very curious, halfway position that makes conservation very difficult," explains Lair. Caring for privately owned domesticated Asian elephants often turns out to be the job of an impoverished mahout—or nobody's job at all.

Life of Captive Elephants

As one of the most intelligent mammals on the planet, elephants have immensely complex needs that no zoo, circus or other attraction can provide. Life in captivity is torture for these sensitive creatures that require tight social bonds and have strong migratory instincts. This reports comprises the life of Captive Elephants.

Asian Elephants Social Characteristics

Male behaviour:
By contrast, adult males tend to be solitary, or may form temporary associations of two or three unrelated bulls. They leave the family of their birth at 12-15 years of age and after that time, although they may frequently associate with female groups for feeding or mating, they have no long term bonds with them, or with each other.


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