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Elephant Social Life: Musth

 Musth is a natural periodic condition occurring in male (bull) elephants of both the Asian and African species. During a musth cycle, bulls typically experience an extraordinary hormonal surge, with their testosterone levels increasing to, on average, 60 times higher than their pre-musth levels. Musth is also marked by a significant increase in aggression and […]

Street Begging and Thai Elephant Law

In Thailand, elephants have been used by humans to perform a wide variety of tasks in many industries and endeavours, ranging from transport to warfare, and logging to tourism, for centuries. Many of these roles have proved destructive to both the Thai elephant population and the individual elephants engaged in them. In recent times, one […]

The Elephant as a Symbol

In Thailand, elephants have been respected and revered for millennia, and through the use of their image as symbolic of the monarchy, religion, government, and culture, they have become inextricably intertwined with Thai society, mythology, and daily life. Elephants are seen to symbolise a variety of positive traits, such as physical and mental strength, responsibility, […]

Thai Elephant History: Logging

The logging industry in Thailand has a long and storied history, which is inextricably entwined with the history of elephants in the country. The harvesting of timber – usually teak wood from either plantations or natural forest – is invariably a difficult process, often in remote, unforgiving terrain which renders the use of traditional machinery […]

Elephant Social Life: Herd Structure

Asian elephants are highly intelligent, social creatures, with complex communication methods and a hierarchical social structure within their herd. Typically, Asian elephants live in small herds of females and young males, often comprised exclusively of related elephants. Herd size depends largely on the ready availability of food and other resources, although it is common for […]

Thai Elephant History: Warfare

The historical relationship between humans and elephants is a long and complex one. Asian elephants have been caught, tamed, trained, and used for a variety of purposes by humans for more than 4,000 years. The large size, strength, intelligence, and longevity of the elephant has in the past made the animal an attractive and valuable […]

Pachyderms and the Pandemic: Repercussions of COVID-19 for Elephants in Thailand

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc worldwide, with devastating medical, economic, and cultural repercussions. In Thailand, millions of people have become unemployed or lost their primary source of income as a result of international containment measures, and it appears that the financial hardship for many is unlikely to abate significantly in the immediate future. […]

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