SOLYMONE BLOG

BURMA’S LAST TIMBER ELEPHANTS

Decades of military dictatorship has meant many aspects of Myanmar are frozen in time. One of those traditions dates back thousands of years - the timber elephant. 
Myanmar has around 5,000 elephants living in captivity - more than any other Asian country. 
More than half of them belong to a single government logging agency, the Myanma Timber Enterprise (MTE). 
Elephants are chosen over machines because they do the least damage to the forest. 
  • These elephants have survived ancient wars, colonialism and World War II while hard woods extracted by elephants in Myanmar once fed the British naval fleet. 
  • Yet today, Myanmar's timber elephant is under threat. Once the richest reservoir for biodiversity in Asia, Myanmar's forest cover is steadily depleting and the government blames it on illegal loggers. Now, the forest policy is being overhauled.
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