Asian elephants kill, on average, nearly 400 people across India each year.1, 2
Migrating around Asia, they scarf down and stomp on people’s crops, smash their homes, and drink their liquor.
In all, elephants snarfle down the crops of at least 500,000 families in India each year (each elephant eats about 440 pounds of vegetation per day).1
The big meanies.
Except . . .
People kill elephants right on back. In addition to the more than 100 Asian elephant retaliatory killings each year, at least
are electrocuted on fences,
die from diseases like anthrax and trypanosomiasis they contract from human-owned cattle, and at least
are killed by trains (over 100 total elephants have died from trains). 2
Nobody knows how many more elephants die from getting trapped in human-dug drainage ditches, poaching, direct habitat loss, and more, so let’s not count those.
So . . .
Taking the largest estimate of total Asian elephant population today3 and the CIA’s estimate of the total population of Bhutan4 and India5, let’s compare the damage.
Elephants are 12,422 times more likely to die at the hands of humans than humans are to die from elephant-related causes.
Maybe we’re the jerks.
Or maybe it’s a complicated problem. One that we can help fix.