|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.