Elephants of Asia at the LA Zoo

More than 23% of mammals, 12% of birds, 4% of reptiles an at least 33% of amphibians are threatened buy extinction. What zoos do is cooperate together to build ìsecurity populationsî of these animals so that they do not become extinct.

On December 16, 2010, the Los Angeles Zoo will open its long awaited Elephants of Asia habitat with three Asian elephants: Billy, Jewel and Tina. While Tina and Jewel are older cows and will not be able to produce offspring, the Los Angeles Zooís hope is to bring in more cows so that Billy will have some offspring and the Zoo can help to build a population of this dying species of elephants.

The Asian elephant ranges to groups in scattered and isolated patches in India, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia and total around 30,000. The reality is that what we call the ‘wild’ is quickly disappearing and what little wild is left is inundated with unresolved human-elephant conflictsóas wild space continues to diminish, there will be few places on earth where elephants are not managed in some way by humans.

The Elephants of Asia habitat at the Los Angeles Zoo focuses on four areas of Asia where varying issues threaten the lives of elephants. Thailand, China, Cambodia and India. At each of these distinct areas of the habitat, Zoo visitors will learn about what the those issues are and what is being done to mitigate or resolve them.

I encourage everyone to go to the Los Angeles Zoo and see this amazing habitat. By supporting the Zoo you help to make a difference in the future of these incredible animals.

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