IN THE FOREST WITH THE ELEPHANTS by Roland & Michael J. Schmidt Smith


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La,"" ""Yah,"" and ""Haw"" are not the gurglings of an infant but a string of commands that a timber elephant must learn in the southeastern Asian forest of Myanmar, formerly Burma. Smith and Schmidt document a day in the life of these hard-working, endangered elephants and the oozies, the men who ride and train them for logging. Readers interested in sled dogs, guide dogs, work horses and other specially trained animals will find themselves captivated with the training, care, and keep of these 7,000-pound animals that can work with logs weighing upwards of two tons. A chapter is devoted to the life of an oozie, Won Lin, following him as he bathes, saddles, works, and feeds his lifetime elephant companion, Toe Lai, the most intelligent and reliable elephant in the timber unit. Man and animal maneuver the 200-year-old teak to be harvested from a steep hillside near a treacherous cliff. Some concerns about the environment and sensitivity toward the elephants are mentioned; full-color photographs record dramatic events and minor ones in this unique partnership.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1998
Page count: 56pp
Publisher: Gulliver Green/Harcourt Brace