Battle Of The Elephants In Thailand


With lightning speed and military precision, they lock dusks and dodge the lethal spears carried by the warriors on their backs.
These stunning beasts are re-enacting the ancient fighting scenes of their ancestors.The giant bull elephants have been specially trained by their skilled mahouts to fight – but the real battle is in training the elephants to know the difference between a mock clash and a real one.

‘These are war scenes depicting the kings going to battle,’ said Ewa Narkiewicz, from Elephantstay in Thailand.

‘Our elephants are highly trained using special techniques. The idea is to show Thai people what role the elephant played in their history.’Elephants Plai Ngathong and Plai Cocholaat are residents of Elephantstay in Thailand.Here the 25-year-old bulls have undergone years of training to safely recreate mock fight scenes.


The production of King Naresuan tells the story of Yuttahadhi, or the ‘Elephant Battle’, when the Siam King fought and killed the Burmese prince Minchit Sra on elephant back.It features elephants, riders on horseback, hundreds of extras, fireworks and flares in a purpose built stadium near Suphanburi, 135km north of Bangkok.Along with providing an important source of income, the work gives the elephants much-needed stimulation and pushes the skills of their mahouts.


It is important for the mahout and elephant to develop a strong bond, so the lumbering beasts know the command to fight is really only signalling a play fight.’If they started to fight for real they could really damage each other,’ said Ewa.She added the warrior re-enactment is helping to improve the mahout’s status in Thai society.’In the past being a mahout was an incredibly noble profession,’ Ewa said.’This is what the mahout did, they were skilled warriors. Now they are often begging on the streets and people see them as lower-class citizens.’By doing these re-enactments we are raising the standing of the mahout back to what it was




3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sarah
    Feb 03, 2010 @ 02:42:41

    That is just horribly sad for the elephants.


  2. heather
    Feb 03, 2010 @ 02:43:09

    Yes this is, indeed, a sad picture; nothing to be proud of.


  3. manon
    Feb 03, 2010 @ 02:44:02

    Disgusting………… free these poor abused animals now. ………..Shame on you Thailand


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