Tang Mo, along with four other adult Asian Elephants was brought to Taronga Zoo from Thailand in 2006 to establish the first Conservation Breeding Program for their species in Australasia.
Asian Elephants are endangered, with as few as 34,000 remaining in the wild. That’s why breeding programs around the world, including those at Taronga and Melbourne Zoos are vitally important to provide a safety net in case they go extinct in their home ranges.
Once common throughout the Asian continent, there are now thought to be as few as 34,000 Asian Elephants in the wild. The population has been reduced by over 75 per cent in the last 70 years. The fact that about 20 per cent of the Earth’s population lives in and around the habitats of these elephants, explains the decline.
Asian Elephants face three main threats:
Asian Elephants have great cultural, ecological and economic value in the 13 countries they inhabit, but conflict with the local communities is still a primary threat to the species.
This project helps educate Sri Lankan school children about the importance of elephants, the value of conservation and how to minimise habitat destruction. These workshops have increased understanding among the children and within their communities of the need for elephant conservation and the importance of biodiversity.