Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey’s helping to save the Asian elephant

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POLK COUNTY, FL. (KTVI) - The Asian elephant is an endangered species. This is why Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey have established a center to celebrate and research these giant animals.

'It's for the beginning of life for Asian elephants and also for their retirement,' says Janice Aria the director of animal stewardship for the Center for Elephant Conservation.  'So it's all about the Asian elephant.  They research, retirement and reproduction of the Asian elephant.'

Fewer than 35,000 Asian elephants are alive in the world today.

More than a third of those work with humans in zoos, circuses and even in logging and eco-tourism.

Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey's Center for Elephant Conservation is trying to maintain these mega herbivores for generations to come.

'We have this facility where we can do research and our elephants retire,' says Trudy Williams the manager of animal stewardship.  'We have reproductions so in the future people's grandchildren will still be able to go to the circus and see this magnificent animal.'

It`s estimated the Asian elephant population has decreased by 50% in the last 60 to 75 years.

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