2006 Photo Contest, Nature, 2nd prize

Palani Mohan

Getty Images

01 March, 2004

Karen men force a three-year-old elephant into a training apparatus in which they will 'break' the animal for the next several days. These methods have been used by the Karen for hundreds of years. In contrast to its thriving African cousin, the Asian elephant is imperiled - even in those countries where it is revered to the point of worship. As the human population spreads the elephants' natural habitat is destroyed. They are forced onto farmland where they cause damage to crops and are subsequently attacked by villagers. Elephants are also captured and put to work in the logging and tourist industries. In Thailand alone, the wild population has declined from 100,000 at the turn of last century to fewer than 1,500 today.

About the photographer

Palani Mohan

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