Myanmar has the second largest number of domesticated elephants after India, according to the City News newspaper yesterday.
Myanmar has 4,748 registered elephants that are kept as pets, used for timber extraction and other heavy lifting and at tourism sites for elephant rides.
Seventy-two elephants were killed by hunters between 2010 and 2016. Currently, Myanmar has an estimated 2,500 wild elephants in Myanmar’s rainforests.
Myanmar signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to protect Myanmar wild elephants and has passed laws against poaching.
Myanmar government has also constructed the wild elephant preserves to protect the elephants against hunters and has plans for several more in the new future, including Hukaung Valley Elephant Reserve, Alaungdaw Kathapa Elephant Reserve, Shwe U Daung Elephant Reserve, Myauk Zar Mayee elephant Reserve, Rakhine wildlife Reserve, and Rakhine Yoma Reserve.
Nationally, Myanmar has set aside 9,205 square miles for elephant sanctuaries. Local and international non-governmental organizations are also planning to expand the amount of land dedicated to wildlife reserves in Myanmar. Mingalar Myanmar, a local NGO, and an elephant conservation organization from Australia have announced plans to establish an elephant reserve in Myanmar.