Human Elephant Conflict in Asia
Article by Lindsay Bryda
Elephants have long been regarded as symbols of wisdom and strength. In the Asian country of Myanmar, their symbolism runs much deeper as they are seen as essential in the local cultures and religions. But not every person in Myanmar views these animals with such reverence. Farmers and plantation owners often view them as destructive nuisances capable of destroying entire fields of crops. Finding middle ground between these competing interests isn’t an easy feat but a critical one as elephants are an endangered species.
The students involved in this project are mainly in majors relating to the sciences and this project serves as a creative outlet, an introduction to publishing and a challenge to turn complex information on conservation into an engaging story. This project will hopefully lead to more advocacy by the citizens of Myanmar so that more conservation action will occur. According to junior psychology major Alex Scott, “Even if we only directly save one elephant, that’s progress!”