Anita Kokoreva
Anita Kokoreva campaign leader

The Asian or Asiatic elephant (Elephas maximus) is the only living species of the genus Elephas and is distributed in Southeast Asia from India and Nepal in the west to Borneo in the east. Three subspecies are recognised—E. m. maximus from Sri Lanka, the E. m. indicus from mainland Asia, and E. m. sumatranus from the island of Sumatra.[1] Asian elephants are the largest living land animals in Asia.[4]

Since 1986, E. maximus has been listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as the population has declined by at least 50 percent over the last three generations, estimated to be 60–75 years. Asian elephants are primarily threatened by degradation, fragmentation, loss of habitat, and poaching.[3] In 2003, the wild population was estimated at between 41,410 and 52,345 individuals. Female captive elephants have lived beyond 60 years when kept in semi-natural surroundings, such as forest camps. In zoos, elephants die at a much younger age and are declining due to a low birth and high death rate.[5]

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