Myanmar (Burma) is home to one of the largest total populations of Asian elephants worldwide with a wild population of approximately 4,000 and a captive population of approximately 5,000, mostly employed in the logging industry – the largest captive population in the world today. Despite its large number, Myanmar’s wild elephant numbers have dropped dramatically over the past 50 years due to threats such as wild elephant capture for the country’s logging industry, habitat loss and poaching.
Monkeys are one of the most abundant animals in Myanmar. In some tourist sites, like Mount Popa near Bagan, you will not be able to miss them since they actively approach humans. Be careful not to take out biscuits or fruits in the presence of monkeys to prevent them from stealing them.
If you are cruising on the Irrawaddy River near Mandalay in Burma, you may have the chance to see the famous Irrawaddy dolphin – one of the most unusual animals in Myanmar. This freshwater dolphin is smaller than its oceanic counterpart and has a bulging forehead and a short snout. It also lives in some parts of the Mekong River in Cambodia and Laos.