The relationship between humans and elephants is complex and longstanding. Elephants have variously represented weapons of war, emblems of prestige, symbols of divinity, objects of entertainment, icons of conservation, commodities for exchange, and vehicles for labour. Elephants are entangled with human enterprises of power, wealth, worship, pleasure, and preservation. Human interactions with and influences upon elephants raise urgent moral and ecological questions of welfare and survival, conflict and coexistence. These issues are being explored through multiple forms of expertise, variously considering ecological, ethnographic, and historical aspects of the human-elephant nexus. This blog is intended to serve as a site to discuss humans and elephants as companion species, as sentient beings that mutually influence each other’s social lives and environmental relations, through time and across space. There are many knowledgeable people, both human and elephant, that we can learn from.
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