In Karen hill-tribes, people have worked alongside elephants for thousands of years. Young male ‘mahouts’ (elephant keepers) will be partnered with an elephant and a bond will be created, limiting the dependence on tools for control. Over several years, a long-term relationship and mutual respect is established, where commands become the main form of control and interaction. In most cases a bullhook will still be carried for safety purposes, for both elephant and man.
Let us start with the basics as this is something not everyone is aware of…the majority of elephants living in captivity, worldwide go through intense training and a spirit crushing process known as the ‘crush’ (AKA as the Phajaan) in order to be “safe” to work with humans.
Activities include elephants giving rides, tight rope walking, riding tricycles, painting, dancing, begging outside of temples, used in parades, street begging and logging!
Introducing oneself and thailandelephants.org can be a challenging thing to do, but here we are: Gemma and Jade; the co founders of www.thailandelephants.org a website committed to raising awareness about The plight of the Asian Elephant in Thailand. Along those lines, our aim here is to bring you a monthly blog dedicated to elephant tourism with a focus on Thailand.
My name is Gemma Annan and I am currently living and working in the UK as...