Elephants and humans are both ecosystem engineers on the island of Sumatra, but with both requiring large territory in the forest, coexisting has not always been easy in a rainforest with limited space and resources. Elephants play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy environment, but with humans now trying to build farms that border the forest, both species became at risk. Today, elephant trainers are beginning to work with the local animals to safely protect the forest for humans and animals alike.


This video is part of the EARTH A New Wild series that takes a fresh look at humankind’s relationship to the planet’s wildest places and most fascinating species. Produced by National Geographic Studios in association with Passion Planet, the series is hosted by Dr. M. Sanjayan, leading conservation scientist, who takes viewers on a stunning visual journey to explore how humans are inextricably woven into every aspect of the planet’s natural systems.


The series premieres in the U.S. on PBS February 4 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT. It premieres internationally on Nat Geo Wild. Check local listings.