Several decades ago, Thailand had over a 100,000 elephants. Today it has only about 5000 or so left and sadly even these are living in peril (In the world there are only 35,000 to 40,000 wild elephants left). Around 1989 Thailand banned logging because of the excessive depletion of its forest cover (not because thousands of wild elephants had been killed and brutalized by the industry). This left the elephants unemployed. Many died from neglect because they are, once tamed, just like cows - or maybe even worse because they don't produce milk or cheese and their upkeep is expensive because they require tonnes of food daily. Some went on to the entertainment industry - amusing people by being forced to perform tricks, give rides, and sometimes even beg.