Photo by Stephanie Sinclair @stephsinclairpix // Mir Hasan holds his daughter, Chandtara, next to Rajleali, the female Asian elephant with whom they live and work in Jaipur, India. Mahouts, or elephant keepers, learn the trade early on as it is commonly a family profession. The captivity of elephants in India goes back thousands of years. At first their use was mostly practical — tanks in wartime, timber forklifts in peacetime. Elephants have been status symbols since the feudal era, and today most of its captive elephants are owned by private individuals, used for tourism and festivals. However, despite their history in domestic situations, there’s no such thing as a domesticated elephant. In 1982, India banned the capture of wild elephants except to protect the animal or its human neighbors. Still, mahouts, who usually come from impoverished families, fear for their livelihood and traditions as social norms slowly change. Follow @stephsinclairpix for more stories from around the world. @natgeo @natgeocreative #india #elephants #photooftheday #photojournalism #stephaniesinclair #asia #animal
Shared by natgeo (National Geographic) and selected for Featured.