2006 Photo Contest, Nature, 2nd prize

Palani Mohan

Getty Images

01 November, 2003

Mahouts take their elephants across a river to feed. In contrast to its thriving African cousin, the Asian elephant is imperiled - even in those countries where it is revered to the point of worship. As the human population spreads the elephants' natural habitat is destroyed. They are forced onto farmland where they cause damage to crops and are subsequently attacked by villagers. Elephants are also captured and put to work in the logging and tourist industries. In Thailand alone, the wild population has declined from 100,000 at the turn of last century to fewer than 1,500 today.

About the photographer

Palani Mohan

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