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Myanmar Elephants' Rights Threatened By Democracy

Workers stand near white elephants at their shelter in Myanmar's capital Naypyidaw on May 10, 2014.  Myanmar will parade its once isolated capital to international leaders this weekend, hosting a landmark summit of Southeast Asia's regional bloc as reforms see the country strut onto the world stage. ( Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images)
Workers stand near white elephants at their shelter in Myanmar's capital Naypyidaw on May 10, 2014. Myanmar will parade its once isolated capital to international leaders this weekend, hosting a landmark summit of Southeast Asia's regional bloc as reforms see the country strut onto the world stage. ( Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama has been traveling throughout Asia this week, including Myanmar, also known as Burma. He will be attending the Asian Summit in the nation’s capital of Naypyidaw to discuss everything from Ebola to territorial trade disputes in the South China Sea.

The president will also be discussing the progress of the nation’s transition to a democracy. Part of the discussion is human rights, as the Muslim Rohingya minority faces a threat in the western Rakhine state.

Elephants are also facing a threat.

Myanmar has one of the largest Asian elephant populations in the region. The elephants work in timber logging and tourism, but as the nation starts to rely on more modern construction equipment, what happens to these employed elephants?

Here & Now‘s  Robin Young speaks with Vicki Croke, animal reporter for WBUR’s “The Wild Life” blog about the future of the elephant population in Myanmar.

Guest

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