"Jumbo shrimp," "pygmy elephant" What will they think of next? Learn about this walking, trumpeting oxymoron on Wildlife Wednesday.
While they haven’t reached the same level of fame as “jumbo shrimp,” at least these grey-skinned, mild-mannered, trunk-wielding pygmy elephants are much, much cuter!
These petit pachyderms make their homes in Borneo and Sumatra. They spend their days wandering through the South Asian countries’ dense rainforests.
Why are they threatened?
Unfortunately, the past 20 years haven’t been kind to pygmy elephants. The past two decades have seen massive swaths of their natural ranges replaced with agricultural land for the production of palm oil and other crops. As a result, human-elephant conflicts are on the rise and feeding and breeding grounds are shrinking.
Other concerns include habitat fragmentation due to logging, and hunting the animals for their tusks.
However, organizations and governments are working hard to conserve the rainforests—and the elephants that rely on them. WWF Indonesia is working with South Asian forestry agencies and governments to create a task force that mitigates human-elephant conflicts, and Norway has agreed to give Indonesia over $1 billion to fight deforestation.