Some elephants seem to enjoy being part of a social group, even if that group includes humans. Other elephants are wary of people.
All elephants should be approached with caution and never without the mahout present.
The welfare of captive elephants is a topic of intense debate among animal managers, conservationists, scientists, the general public, animal welfare/rights groups and the media. Common concerns, especially on welfare, raised about elephant tourism in particular are complex in their nature and impact, and call for urgent scientific evaluation as well as for realistic solutions to ensure the sustainable and ethical management of captive elephants in the future.
Eleven Ayutthaya elephants and 200 mahouts have taken part in a procession in Bangkok dedicated to King Bhumibol Adulyadej who died last month. Report by Nikhita Chulani.