Friday, October 1, 2010

Elephant Breeding Center, Nepal

Incredibly cute!

They have the longest gestation period of any land animal, 22 months.

 Their caretakers make little nutritious food packets for the elephants which are useful treats during training.

Treated well, they can live into their 70's.

At about 5 years of age, they are separated from their mothers and their training begins.

Some of the young were not chained because they rarely wander far from their mothers.

It is difficult to watch the training process because you can see that the elephants are struck squarely on their heads with a fat stick if they misbehave.

The elephants are strong enough to drag a three ton tree, so it is important that the trainers have control over the elephants at all times.  Sometimes the elephants will unexpectedly lose their minds and become completely unmanageable.  After the elephant breeding center, we walked 2 miles into town to see if there was a cybercafe so that we could let people know that we might have some difficulties returning during the strike.  Halfway to town we saw roughly 20 people standing in the street keeping their eyes on a large elephant from a distance.  We continued to walk confidently toward the crowd and the elephant.  Fortunately, one man stopped us.  "The elephant is mad.  He has already killed two men.  We are waiting for the mahout to come and get him."  We thanked the man and quickly retreated.


  1. You've captured the majestic of these animals in your photos. I winced when I read the part about how they're hit on the heads if they misbehave. I think humans would go a bit nuts if they were hit on the heads every time they misbehaved.

    Can't wait for the next installment!

  2. Poor ellies. Wish they could just be free. I hope aside from the stick (awful) they are treated well.

  3. Elephants seem to be most intelligent animals. I've watched documentaries such as Planet Earth on the Discovery Channel and was quite in awe of these creatures. It must have been amazing to see them up close in the land where they live. I guess it's good that they can be trained to be helpful. But, like the other comments I can't help but wonder if there is a better way to teach them.

  4. So sad. You can just imagine why the elephant went "mad." I really love these creatures, and wish they could roam free. I can also understand why you would want to stay out of his way.

  5. Fabulous photos of these wonderful animals! I wince too- wish they could roam free without being harassed! So you were out trying to snag a shot of a rhino before you left? What an experience!