The elephant was first tamed in 2000B.C.
in the ancient towns of Mohenjo-Daro and
Harappa in the Indus Valley, in what is now
known as Pakistan.
The elephant is an efficient machine. It
ploughs paddy fields, harvests coconuts and
The elephant is loaded and carries goods
through the forest or across rivers.
In Thailand all logging was forbidden in 1989,
in order to protect the rainforest. Thousands
of elephants and their mahouts became
unemployed and they were left with few
They work with illegal felling or are rented out
for forestry in neighboring countries. In order
to work longer and harder, the elephant is
Elephants and mahouts entertain tourists and
sell elephant rides.
• the wild elephant is caught
• it is tied between trees to prevent it from moving
• when an elephant fails to obey, it is punished by
strokes with an elephant hook on the trunk or
behind the ears
• it is both starving and thirsty. At night the mahout
gives the elephant treats in order to win its
• once the elephant begins to accept its destiny, it
gets a bath in the river
• after a couple of weeks the elephant is willing to
• after 2-3 years, the elephant is fully trained
The elephant works 3 hours in the morning
and 3 hours in the afternoon. It cannot be
pressed too hard. It spends the rest of the
day feeding in the rainforest. The forelegs are
chained and it wears a bell around its neck to
prevent it from walking away and to make it
easy for the mahout to find it.
In special elephant camps tourists can ride
The elephant pulls heavy tree trunks through
the forest and loads them onto trucks. It is able
to walk through areas inaccessible to tractors