What problems do elephants cause for people?

Human and elephant conflict happens. If they encounter one another, it is either a human is accidentally killed or an elephant is shot. Elephants live close to places where human thrives. They can be migrating from one place to another and accidentally toss a person over the air and kill them.

The main problem that elephants pose to human beings is crop raiding. Human population is expected to grow to 10 billion in 2025. For this reason, humans need agricultural lands to support their existence. Elephants are wiped out in Southeast Asia and they are now endangered. They exist mainly in Thailand, India, and Africa. 

Nowadays, elephants in Thailand and in other parts of Asia are in trouble. Mahouts who take care of elephants in Thailand are forced to overwork their elephants for lower pay. The competition becomes fierce and sometimes elephant is slaughtered for meat. They are very difficult to keep as pets. Elephants consume a lot of water and pounds of food every day. Unless you are very rich, you wont be able to maintain a pet elephant for a long period of time. Mahouts in Thailand can be found begging in the streets with their elephants due to unemployment. Elephants sometimes can be hit by a car, and catch diseases such as diabetes. 

Due to projects such as road, industrial and mine developments, many elephants are forced out of their habitats. They are not safe anymore from hunters preying them for ivory. There are a lot of incidents when elephants are forced to raid crops and villages for food. Humans sometimes retaliate with poison or by shooting them. 

There are a lot of compensation programs for villagers that were killed by elephants. However, the human and elephant conflict will continue as long as human population continues to rise. The tusks of males are targeted for ivory in Asian countries. Humans are sometimes killed because of illegal hunting of male elephants. The aggressive male elephants are used by loggers for the timber industry. Capturing elephants can lead to accidental death if the person is not careful.

The animals dont directly prey on human beings, crops or animals. However, if they dont have any choice, they will go to the nearest field for food. They can also prey on livestock, water, and food source when they are out of food. This can lead to accidental deaths if a human and elephant encounter occurs.  There are also people who cant go to certain places or children who cant go to school because of herds of elephants blocking their way.

There are wildlife preservation groups that aim to fence a certain portion of land for elephants. However, this cant be considered a remedy. Resources of food can easily dwindle as elephants can consume up to 300kg of vegetables and 200 liters of water every day. These are just some of the dark side in terms of human and elephant conflict. Everyone has a responsibility to preserve the habitats of elephants in order to prevent them from getting close to human territories. 


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