Elephant Protocol in Kerala Tradition
 Mr. P. M. Narayanan

Approach the elephant only after the usual morning ablutions

 Observe the elephant, especially the face as well as the eyes
and the other body languages to ensure that mood and
temperament of the animal is normal and calm.

 Never approach the animal under the influence of alcohol or any
other psychedelic drugs

 Do not approach the animal until and unless the animal shows
welcome response signs, which is expressed by making the
grunting sound as well as by repeatedly tapping the trunk on the

Approach the animal only if it is in a mood of obedience showing
calm temperament. This is an indication that the mahout can go
close and dust the animal and start further daily routine like    
cleaning the tethering site etc.

When oral commands are given never use percussion
commands simultaneously. In other words oral commands are the
preferred choice of command. The advantage of using oral
commands is that mahout can make the animal obey the
commands from a safe distance, and avoid the risk of approaching
the animal in the morning before making sure of the mood of the

Avoid frequent and unnecessary use of tools (stick, hook, pole
etc.). If used too frequently, animal will develop tolerance to it and
will not become effective in real and at times dangerous situations
where in quick and predictable response is needed from the
animal. When tools are used frequently, animal gets habituated and
often ignores such commands, which are critical. These may be
situations where in compliance to commands will have to be sure
and instant, like when elephant turns out to be aggressive to
another elephant, mahout or any other human being

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