Asian elephants used to live in areas stretching from Iraq to southern China, where some still live wild. The habitats these forest mammals once occupied have been cut down to make way for farms and villages. They are now mostly confined to hilly regions where human contact is minimal.
Recent figures indicate that there are about 30,000 Asian elephants left in the wild, with available habitat of about 190,000 square miles. By contrast, the African population is about 10 times this size, living on nearly 3 million square miles of habitat.