Why‘s Laos Called The Land Of A Million Elephants
Posted on 6/05/2015 9:06:54
Laos is known as “The Land of Million Elephants” for years. But unfortunately, Laos doesn’t have that many elephants anymore.
Through the long history, Laos used to be called “Lane Xang”, which can be translate to be “The Land of Million Elephants”. It was named as “Lan Xang” by the King Fa Ngum in 1354. The reason is that he capital of the Kingdom was Luang Prabang and it was surrounded by large grazing pastures with wild herds of elephants lived there. Apart from that, another reason is that the elephants were used as the principal engines of war and a main means of transportation for the Laos Royal Family back in ancient time. Asian elephants loved to live in Laos because there used to have extensive forest and crops to live on and there was a sparse human population.
However, in modern days, the wars and bombs have scared the elephants away, the loss of natural habitat like the expansion of settlements, agriculture and industrial infrastructure, the trade of the ivory and the forests have being cut down which resulting in less food. So the elephant population in Laos is dwindling fast. Now, Laos only have about 700 elephants left in the wild. And there are only about 400 domesticated elephants. With an increase in demand for elephants by the logging industry, the animals are made to work at a furious pace. They are overworked and exhausted, and as a result cannot reproduce. So, there is therefore an urgent need to safeguard the remaining elephants and create a breeding programme for them.