“When you have got an elephant by the hind legs and he is trying to run away, it’s best to let him run”

Our visit to the Rose Garden Cultural Center also included an elephant demonstration. We got to see three elephants show some of the various ways there massive animals have been involved throughout Thai history. But the elephants also demonstrated some fun tricks under the Thai principle of sanuk: life should be fun. All of these elephants are female.

ElephantDemo1
Elephants before the demo
ElephantDemo5
Elephants before the demo
ElephantDemo2
Elephants before the demo

Fun fact: the circumference of an elephant’s foot matches his or her vertical height at the shoulder. That doesn’t sound like it makes sense, but the mahout demonstrated with string. It’s true.

ElephantDemo12
Elephant Demo

The elephants also demonstrated their sense of spatial precision by walking over three mahouts without squishing anyone. They also showed how they sleep – fully prone. I was surprised. For such a huge animal, you wouldn’t expect them to be so agile.

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Elephant Demo
ElephantDemo9
Elephant Demo
ElephantDemo3
Elephant Demo
ElephantDemo15
Elephant Demo

One of the elephants showed how the animals were used in the Thai logging industry: dragging a massive log and rolling it into the water before retrieving it again. Slow and steady, these animals can carry huge weights long distances this way.

ElephantDemo8
Elephant Demo
ElephantDemo7
Elephant Demo
ElephantDemo14
Elephant Demo
ElephantDemo6
Elephant Demo
ElephantDemo13
Elephant Demo
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Elephant Demo
ElephantDemo4
Elephant Demo
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Elephant Demo

The finale included two of the elephants dancing, one with a hula hoop. It was pretty entertaining to watch.

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Elephant Demo
ElephantDemo18
Elephant after the demo

Title quote: Abraham Lincoln

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