|City:||Amphoe Mae Taeng, Thailand|
|Weather:||85°, hot and sunny|
|Site:||Woody Elephant Camp|
|Activity:||Real work: feeding, training elephants|
A mahout is the person who trains, feeds, watches, and generally takes care of the elephants. At Woody Elephant camp, one mahout has one elephant. They go wherever the elephant goes. Every. Single. Day. You can tell, because there's this quiet bond between them. They grunt at each other all the time like their own language. When we interacted with the elephants, we could tell the elephant had the mindset it was “working”. But when the mahout spoke, the elephants reacted more empathetically.
At the camp we husked corn for the elephants (even though most of the elephants could do this themselves using their trunks). Pictured below are the farmers working on the crops used to feed the elephant's enormous appetites.