Working elephants in India

The Life of a Worker
working elephant
Even today, as jets fly overhead and automobiles ply the roads, there are about 3,000 working elephants in India and nearby countries. Compared with machines, elephants seem inefficient; they require extensive training, have limited endurance and consume mountains of rice. But they can do some jobs better. Apart from hauling timber and carrying merchandise from one market center to another, elephants are now used to plow farmlands. at half the cost of operating tractors. In a few months, a mahout, assisted by tame elephants, teaches a new recruit some 30 commands which it never forgets. In return, the animal is required to labor only four hours a day and grazes free three months of the year.