The human elephant conflict is a chief concern for the Asian Elephant.
Due to deliberate destruction of the rainforest and limited space to roam, elephants are forced to travel to towns, farms and villages in search of food.
Many road traffic accidents occur on these journeys.
Elephants travel along busy roads and highways. The journey is loud and frightening for the elephant and the terrain unsafe.
Many elephants will die or become seriously inured as a result of collisions with automobiles and trains, as well as falling into ditches, wells and manholes. There is often no way to rescue these elephants.
Elephants are unwelcome visitors, damaging and diminishing crops and posing a very real danger to humans.
In a bid to frighten and push elephants away; fireworks are often used, elephants are shot, caught in snares/traps or poisoned by farmers.
Farmers have even been known to plant explosives inside of pumpkins.
After ingesting explosives, elephants will often be found dead after rushing to water to cool down. This leaves many elephant calves orphaned.
Elephants are dependent on their mother for milk for 4 years. Finding a suitable substitute can be a challenge, some milk can cause digestive issues and even death.
Orphaned elephants will often end up in tourism, the circus, elephant orphanages and zoos.
Breeding programmes at some of these parks are causing a further strain, increasing the number of captive elephants for the sake of tourism.
Overcrowding and inability to control elephants, mean that a lot of them are chained. Being chained for prolonged periods, elephants are often left standing in their own urine and faeces and cannot move freely out of the sun. Chains can cause sores and infections, arthritis and mobility problems.
It is difficult to know the solution to a peaceful cohabitation between humans and elephants. The born free foundation reports that every year 50 people in Sri Lanka alone are killed by elephants and over 100 elephants are killed by farmers.
Support charities making a difference– Born Free are helping to find humane ways of protecting humans and elephants by provide fencing, early warning systems and using deterrent foods.
Avoid falling into tourist traps. If it feels wrong, it is wrong.