► Commands are to be clear, audible and the voice, properly
modulated and with clear syllables.
► Use only standard protocols of commands and restraining
methods. Training contrary to that is likely to cause stress to the
► Elephant may be approached with tools (stick & hook) or without
them. This is the option of the mahout. But once an animal, get used
to one protocol, say approaching the animal without tools, then
animal will become restive if mahout changes this protocol and
approaches it with tools of restraint. Sometimes it may even refuse
to obey the mahout.
► All tools of restraint, like different types of chain must be available
at all times (body chain, hobbles & cross chain). Body chain is a
must when taken out of the tethering site for a walk or transport.
► Mahout’s attitude towards the elephant should be like a parent.
Elephants do accept scolding and other punishment to same extant.
But if mahout is cruel with elephant he can expect the same in return
also. Similarly a friendly behaviour is also reciprocated in the same
way. Bath, scrub and clean the animal daily with loving care and
tend the wounds and injurious properly and promptly.
► Unnecessary and cruel punishment like deprivation of food and
water will make elephant aggressive towards the mahout. If
punishment is unavoidable beat only tangentially to the body. Never
hit or prod perpendicular to body. This can cause serious injuries to
► Good command words, with proper modulation of voice are an
asset to mahout. Calling at the animal in a loud modulated voice at
the critical times can save lives.
► Superstitions like auspicious and inauspicious time should
never be applied in a mahout’s job. Every moment is important and
at times very critical even.
►Mahout should always be bold. Elephants easily understand fear
and cold sweat. Elephants can the “smell” the fear.
► Knowledge of sensitive points is a basic requirement for every
mahout. Even if he is not an expert on all aspects of elephant
management, he should have basic knowledge on elephant
behaviour and signs of illness.
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