Countless elephants are murdered for the sake of ivory.
Another sad fact is that elephants in circuses are repeatedly beaten in order to train them. These intelligent social mammals often live their whole lives in travel trailers, sometimes in the blazing heat or the freezing cold. The majority of the time, they are chained by two feet, unable to take even one step forward or back. I have no idea what the solution is to this cruel human behaviour.
Some interesting facts about elephants from:
Elephant trunks can get very heavy. It is not uncommon to see elephants resting them over a tusk!
Elephants cry, play, have incredible memories, and laugh!
Elephants are sensitive fellow animals where if a baby complains, the entire family will rumble and go over to touch and caress it.
Elephants have greeting ceremonies when a friend that has been away for some time returns to the group.
Elephants grieve at a loss of a stillborn baby, a family member, and in many cases other elephants.
Elephants don't drink with their trunks, but use them as "tools" to drink with. This is accomplished by filling the trunk with water and then using it as a hose to pour it into the elephant's mouth.
Interestingly, the Asian elephant is more closely related to the extinct mammoth than to the African elephant (see evolution).