Currently on display through August 29 at Ciel Gallery
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No more tears!Outside of poaching, habitat loss and human elephant conflict (HEC) are the other leading causes of elephant suffering in the wild. It is a gift to be able to still have a few herds of elephants roam freely.According to the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Asian elephant is endangered. Though it is not known exactly how many Asian elephants remain, it is believed that the population is decreasing. The African elephant is considered vulnerable. Overall, its populations are increasing. According to the African Wildlife Foundation at awf.org, there are around 470,000 African elephants still left roaming the globe. Having said that, according to World Elephant Day an estimated 100 African elephants are killed each day by poachers seeking ivory, meat and body parts, leaving only 400,000 remaining. An insatiable lust for ivory products in the Asian market makes the illegal ivory trade extremely profitable, and has led to the slaughter of tens of thousands of African elephants.Elephant feeding behavior frequently ensures that no one plant species is able to dominate the environment. By essentially engineering the plant and water systems around them, elephants not only affect plant ecosystems, but they also impact every other animal that depends on those plants, including carnivorous predators that prey on grazing herbivores.Without elephants, habitats such as the African savannah and the Southeast Asian rain forest would look drastically different and wouldn’t be able to support nearly as many different species as they do now. Therefore, elephants play essential roles in maintaining biological diversity around the world.
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