There were many unanswered questions about the elephants I watch, run by, and sometimes touch.  My last investigation of housing, lifestyle, training, etc. ended with me on my knees sobbing.  So back into the fire I go…  Ok, so they are chained, but are they always chained?  There is an elephant complex outside the of the city with a giant pond/wash station for elephants, an attendant for each elephant, their own house with a constant supply of sugar cane (they don’t appear to get diabetes) and cut grasses, but they do live chained except for when they are in work or being walked for exercise. A reality of the environment and the narrowed lifestyle for “natural living?” A way of keeping them tamed and controlled, since they are powerful and smart?

The attendants are from generations of elephant trainers. The families live with and for the elephants exclusively. Elephants are considered immature until 10 years old and at that point, they begin their official training. When I asked if I could watch the training they suggested I live in the complex for the next 20 years and then I will get my answer.  Giggle–perfect answer. Each attendant was thoughtful in showing me their elephant, but I was told that everyone took turns taking on all the duties of elephant management and that it was a real team effort.  Fun to learn the history and that trainers from outside of India were originally hired for training the elephants.  Need to do a little bit more research.  I did notice the very sharp stick they use to direct the elephant by engaging it on the back’s of their heads and that some of the chains had large spikes that point inward for further enhanced control.  Is this devastating to someone who has witnessed unfriendly training approaches–no.  *The heartache is in their predicament of no “free” time, but there was no heartache this time–only the realization of the human insanity plan and yet another variation.
At home
(short movie below)
*The animals provide a constant opportunity for me to walk into the fire of self examination.  They are my biggest exterior connection to my heart and what led me to India in the first place.  I have nothing but gratitude for their presence and how they have given me motivation to understand the two-legged world from a place of spirit. love, and truth.  The quiet teachers–the animals.
Category: Emotions, Selfseeds
Tag: elephants, India, Jaipur, Selfseeds, tourism