There are only an estimated 116 wild Asian elephants in Cambodia's Seima Protection Area, and until now most of the photographic evidence of them has be taken by camera traps. New footage released by the Wildlife Conservation Society changes that. The short video, a screengrab of which is above (here's the original footage), taken back in August by Allan Michaud shows a male elephant feeding on grass. Why release the footage now? Well, the Seima Protection Area is relatively recently created, covering 1,100 square miles of hills along Cambodia's eastern border with Vietnam. WCS says the conservation area has more than 60 species of animals that are threatened or near-threatened and is "of international importance for the conservation of primates, Asian elephants, wild cattle and several species of birds." In addition, the conservation of the forested area is important for several communities nearby which have depended on it economically, culturally and spiritually for many generations.
WCS' Edward Pollard says the new footage is "visual confirmation that Seima is vitally important for biodiversity."
Read more: WCS Cambodia h/t: Yale Environment 360
Asian Elephants Range Extended to Syria & Turkey
Globally Asian elephants are classified as endangered, with poaching and habitat loss being the primary threats they face. Interesting to note is that up until about 100 BCE Asian elephants lived as far west as Syria, Turkey and Iraq. Overhunting for ivory caused the extinction of this largest Asian elephant sub-species. Up until 1400 BCE, another sub-species lived as far north as Anyang, Henan Province, China.
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