Every November, elephant handlers in Surin, Thailand, show off their skills by leading their animals in a procession, games of football and tugs of war. Historically elephants here were trained as working animals, but a decline in their economic importance has seen the handlers, or ‘mahouts’ use their animals more for entertainment than industry.
A line of elephants in a soccer team walk out onto the pitch during the Elephant Round-up:
Elephant footballers and their handlers show off their skills.
Mahouts and their elephants take part in a procession.
Costumed people and elephants march into a battle re-enactment at the Surin Elephant Festival
See more pictures of the festival here
- Surin readies for elephant festival (ttrweekly.com)