Ironically, elephants were used in Southeast Asia to destroy their own habitats during the human population explosion and the aggressive conversion of natural lands into agriculture. Extensive GIS mapping, ground and satellite tracking by the Conservation and Research Center revealed that 70 percent of their range has been converted since 1980.
Harvard entomologist E.O. Wilson says. "Destroying a tropical rainforest and other species rich ecosystems for profit is like burning all the paintings in the Louvre to cook dinner."
If there were an elephant capital of North America, it would likely be located at the Oregon Zoo. Twenty-seven healthy Asian elephants have been born there since 1962, establishing the zoo as one of the foremost elephant research and breeding facilities in the world.