In both the continents, elephants have been captured and hunted through the centuries. The relative importance of these factors in the decline of Asian and African elephants has varied regionally through time. Overall, it is clear that hunting has been the predominant threat to the elephant populations of Africa, although capturing in North Africa during ancient times may also have contributed to local extinction. In Asia, on the other hand, the regular capture of elephants undoubtedly has been the major factor in the decline of the species. The role of hunting as a cause of local extirpation of Asian elephants, however, has probably been underestimated, especially in continental Southeast Asia. While the hunting of elephants has been predominantly for their tusks, the significance of hunting for other products, such as meat and hide, has also probably not been fully appreciated.
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