I was going to keep this one for mother’s day but I realised I’d forget all about it by next year so I thought it best to post it now.
It’s one I took when I was doing some work with the Elephant Help Clinic in Phuket many years ago. The baby elephant is wearing a lei because she’d just been blessed by the monks from the nearby temple.
This is an old photograph from my collection, one I took way back in 1972 when the elephant was still known as “the tractor of Thailand”. Sadly, the lovely big animals no longer haul teak and this sort of thing is a rare occurrence now as they no longer live a happy life with their mahouts in the forests in the north of the country. Their habitat has been destroyed by logging, legal and illegal, and most of them have had to journey south with their mahouts, to the coastal areas where they are reduced to giving rides to tourists. In many cases they fall ill from diseases to which they have no resistance; the grasses along the sides of the road are sprayed with pesticides which harm them, and their young ones are often taken away from them and chained up outside a bar for the amusement of tourists.
If you see such a thing, tell the owner you don’t approve.