The Thai Elephant

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Elephants are an important part of Thai culture and the Thai way of life. They are a traditional symbol of royal power, an essential
feature of Buddhist art and architecture, an a spiritual mentor for people of
all walks of life. In the early part of this century, elephants roamed freely
and in multitude throughout Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Prior
to the 18th century they were the main machine of Southeast Asian war, a Thai
king of the late 17th century having had 20,000 war elephants trained for
battle. Elephants in Thailand have always been a
symbol of both power and peace.
They
have always performed the most exacting physical tasks. And they have always
been well loved.
The number of elephants in Thailand today is limited to about 2,600. Most of
these are at various elephant camps around the country where they learn to
in the forests and mountains and to entertain
the hundreds of thousands of people who go to see them each year, and where they
live, play and reproducee in a setting that is as close to the
wild as possible.

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