Elephants play an important role to help our eco-system to run efficiently. They are the majestic creations of nature and no doubt, the biggest land mammals on this planet. Area wise, they are being categorized into two major parts- African Elephants and Asian Elephants.
Elephants are herbivore animals and likely to eat tree leaves, grasses, roots, and some crops like banana trees and sugarcane. Moreover, they use their large tusks as their hands as humans do. Similarly, their trunk is a very useful organ to perform various tasks like taking bath, sucking water, handling objects etc. Overall, they are very intelligent animals and capable of learning things very quickly.
Stats about the Indian Elephants
Today, we have sad news about elephants. Their population is set to reduce gradually year by year across the world. The reasons are the conflicts with human. Especially in India, we are recording such terrible facts about the population of elephants. Just explore the following threatening statistics presented by the Environmental Ministry of India.
Over the world, only India has lost around 3000 elephants in the time span of 5 years (2012-17). The Ministry organizes Elephant Census every 5 years. The reports have shown that there were 30,000 elephants in the Indian states in 2012. But unfortunately, this figure fell down to 27,312 in the census 2017.
How are we losing our Elephants?
- Habitat loss is the prime factor elephants are facing today. They are losing their living habitats just because of the greed of human. Increasing human population demands more land that eventually destructing the elephant habitats on a large scale.
- Lack of grazing areas is another problem with elephants. About 200 pounds of food is their daily requirement and they have to wander long distances to fulfill this requirement. But now the grazing area is limited which results in deaths consequently.
- When elephants do not get an adequate amount of food, they come into conflict with the farmers when they try to destruct their crops. Farmers shoot them in order to protect their crops. Elephants can also not be confined with fences because these big and powerful animals push the fences very easily. In this context, some animal reserves also use electrified fences to prevent animals away.
- The biggest cause of elephant mortality is poaching of ivory. Although the trade of elephant ivory is banned since 2016, the Black market is widely available for these valuable products. Older animals are the main victims as they have the longest tusks.
- Elephant hair and hide are the other two profitable items being the reason for their death. These are used to make jewelry products and decoration items.
- Elephants are also being captured to use them in circuses, servitudes, sports and in other entertainment activities. There face maltreats and pose to live shorter lives.
- Similarly, illness is another factor responsible for elephant deaths. Especially, elephant pox is a viral and lethal disease causing death if not received vaccination on time. Some other fatal diseases are tuberculosis, tetanus, anthrax etc.