Wednesday, Jun 3, 2015Wednesday, Jun 3, 2015

Want a pet? Adopt an endangered elephant as part of conservation project

Published on Mar 22, 2013 9:57 AM

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - Anna, Bella, Cinta, Dadang and Elena are five Indonesian elephants available for "adoption" as part of a conservation project to save endangered Asian elephants and allow them to remain living in the wild.

While African elephants face growing danger due to a rising toll from poaching, Asia's elephants are in danger due to a loss of habitat, said conservationists with the International Elephant Project, which was launched on Friday in Sydney.

Deforestation on Sumatra island has seen elephants poisoned by villagers trying to protect their crops from the hungry animals, said Mr Leif Cocks, one of the project's founders.

"As their habitat disappears, there's increasing conflict with local communities, with deaths on both sides," he said, noting that while there are Indonesian laws in place to protect the remaining forest, enforcement is not as strong as desired.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!