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Wildlife Series: Elephant and the Emotion of the Giant

Welcome to the first article of our wildlife series. In this series, we will talk about interesting facts about endangered animals and what we can do to help to conserve their populations. In this edition, we will talk about the magnificent frugivore: elephant.

At this point, maybe you have watched some documentary on TV or perhaps read somewhere on the internet about what happens to wild elephants around the world. How did you feel when you readout about it? If you felt sad and concerned about them, we feel you. 

Speaking about feelings, those elephants can also feel emotions just like us. Due to their complex consciousness, these animals can experience joy, anger, compassion, and even love. Their emotional attachment towards their family may even rival our own. 

In the wild, they express their happiness and joy when they are amongst their family and friends, during the birth of a baby elephant, and reunion. And the most touching part of elephant social customs is their maternal love. The mother elephant will fetch their calf if they stray too far away. She will help her child to its feet with its trunk, carry it over obstacles, and protect it from the hot sun.

Now, could you imagine how they feel when they lose their home and family members as a result of human greed and negligence? Elephants remember and mourn their loved ones for many years. Here’s a fact about them, in case you’re not aware - they will stop and take a silent pause for several minutes when they walk past a place where their loved one died. 

We certainly wouldn’t want them to experience that. That's why we try our best to protect Sumatran elephants through our collaborations with the government, the Indonesian Elephant Conservation Forum (Forum Konservasi Gajah Indonesia), and the Belantara Foundation, among others. 

In this effort, we’ve set up feeding stations within our concessions and expanded our population monitoring movements. On top of that, we also established a specialist team to manage human-elephant conflicts by educating communities and running anti-poaching patrols using non-violent and educational methods.

You can do your part as well by minimizing your impact on the environment, learning more about our conservation efforts here, and helping us spread awareness about the importance of wildlife protection to your friends and family. 

Remind them that it's not only about empathy, but it's also about our future. As gardeners of the forests, elephants play an essential role in maintaining the biodiversity and health of the ecosystem in which they live--something we need for generations to come.

And we need to act fast. The sad truth is that elephant's population numbers continue to decline, and it is especially true for Sumatran elephants. In 2012, IUCN declared the subspecies as "critically endangered," as half of their populations had lost in only one generation.

So there's no time to waste, but we're not alone. There are more than 7.5 billion people on Earth. Imagine if every one of us committed to do merely one simple thing every day to protect the animals. Even the smallest actions can have significant impacts when we all work together and start as soon as possible. 

Let's do our best and hope nothing but the best for these majestic creatures!

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