An elephant’s daily bread

Today was my day off from field work, so I got a haircut, did laundry, caught up on archiving receipts, and took care of all the other essential aspects of field research that can’t be taken care of on regular working days. In the evening, I took my field assistants to the domesticated elephant camp at Theppakadu to watch the daily feeding of the elephants there, something that two of them hadn’t seen before. You can observe wild elephants all you like, but standing just a couple of meters from a domesticated elephant is when you can really appreciate the size of these magnificent animals.

In the video above, you only truly realize how huge these giants are when the man walks up to this handsome tusker with the ball of food in his hand. That ball of food, by the way, is a mixture of cooked raagi (finger millet) and rice flavoured with a little bit of salt and jaggery. An elephant’s daily bread, if you will.

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