Learn More About Borneo's Pygmy Elephants!

Learn More About Borneo's Pygmy Elephants!

Posted by Connor Whelan on 1st Mar 2016

Borneo is a place which is home to one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. The number of animals who live in the rainforests on this island is phenomenal, but today we are going to be looking at one in particular. With the Orangutan and Pygmy Elephant project on sale until the end of the month we thought it was time to tell you a bit more about Borneo’s lesser known endemic species, the Pygmy Elephant!

What makes them different to the other species of elephants?

The Pygmy Elephants of Borneo look like they would not be out of place in a Disney cartoon! They are incredibly cute with their baby faces, oversized ears, plump bellies and tails so long that they sometimes drag along the ground as they walk! The Pygmy’s are also gentler in nature than their Asian counterparts. These elephants were isolated around 300,000 years ago from their cousins in mainland Asia and Sumatra, and over time they adapted to their surroundings and that’s why they look so different today! Pygmy’s can reach heights of up to 9.8 feet tall and they live in the rainforests of Borneo.

Borneo Elephants

Why do they need our help?

Borneo’s elephants are very high on the list of conservation priorities and yet they remain the least understood elephant in the world. We need to make changes now as their numbers are already worryingly low. At best estimate it is thought that there are only around 1,500 Pygmy Elephants left in the wild and the reason for this low number is down to human interference. The primary threat to the elephants is through habitat loss. Mammals of their size require large areas to find their food, but in Borneo the large blocks of forest they require are being cut down to make way for commercial and palm oil plantations. The other issue the elephants are facing is the conflict they have with humans who also inhabit the area. As the forests continue to shrink the elephants are coming into contact with humans on a more frequent basis. People in Borneo have a tendency to set up small snares in an attempt to trap small game, but this is causing major problems for the elephant population. It is estimated that 20 percent of the resident elephants have sustained injuries from these snares.

How can you help?

The Great Orangutan and Pygmy Elephant Project is situated within WWF’s ‘Corridor of Wildlife’ and it is the perfect place to volunteer to aid in the conservation efforts of these incredible animals. The project is on special offer with 15% off until the end of the month, so if this sounds like something you would be interested in doing then click here to find out more.


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