Centuries ago, the kingdom that made up much of modern-day Laos was called Lan Xang. In English: "Land of a Million Elephants." Yet while the Asiatic elephant may have endured as a cultural icon for the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the numbers tell a story of a species in crisis. The Laos government and conservation groups estimate there are only about 800 elephants left in the country — 400 wild elephants, 400 in captivity. "Both populations are not sustainable and are actually declining," said Anabel López Pérez, a biologist from Spain with the Elephant Conservation Center. "And the problems that they face, both populations, are completely different."