On our way home to Phitsanulok from Chiang Mai last week, we dropped by at Chiang Dao Elephant Training Center located at Ta Yaak Village which is about 56 kilometers from the city of Chiang Mai. It is a place where elephants are trained, educated, developed and molded into better ele-tribe members.
An elephant school it is!
In this training center, the elephants are literally trained to crouch down on "all fours", lower their front legs and head, pick up small things and hand them over to their trainer/master, drag logs, carry logs using their tusk, push logs by their tusk and trunk, pile up logs and whether you believe it or not - the elephants in this school are also trained to paint.
In that brief stop, I was lucky to witness for myself the elephants performing their tricks. Here's some of the photos I took using my Samsung Nexus.
|Elephants pulling logs guided by their trainers.|
|After every performed trick/skill, elephants take a graceful bow to the delight of their onlookers.|
|An elephant doing a self-portrait.|
|How is this for an end-product?|
|The paintings are being sold at 500 baht each.|
|When the show ends, elephants will go closer to their audience for a treat of sugarcane from them.|
I bet for these trainers, not dogs but these elephants are their best friends.