A Unique Case: A Mahout on an Elephant Blocks the Road and Extorts Money from the Driver
In India, a prevalent racket of beggars can be found at almost every traffic signal. While some of them are genuinely in need, others view begging as an easy way to earn money. Over the years, these beggars have developed new techniques to solicit money from people. Recently, a video surfaced on Instagram showing two mahouts on elephants blocking the road of a motorcyclist and demanding money.
The video, shared on an Instagram page, does not specify the exact location of the incident. However, based on the audio, it appears to have taken place somewhere in the eastern part of the country. In the video, we witness mahouts using elephants to obstruct the road and request money from motorists. The motives behind their actions remain unclear. They even went on to block a bus and demand money from both the driver and passengers.
The primary target of these individuals seemed to be two-wheeler drivers, as they are easily intimidated by the sheer size of the elephants. Some motorists can be seen succumbing to their demands and handing over money. The elephant, trained not to cause any harm, did not damage the vehicles. Threatening the motorists, the mahouts raised the front end of the elephant to instill fear.
In addition to their coercive tactics, the elephants were also observed playing with the motorcycles’ side mirrors and other body panels. Most of the riders in the video were not wearing helmets and had children riding with them. At one point, a biker on a Suzuki Gixxer motorcycle can be seen confronting the mahouts. Initially, he had intended to pay them, but upon realizing that both elephants were demanding money, he became apprehensive and urged them to leave without giving any money.
Contrary to the usual perception of elephants as sacred animals used in processions and festivals, this video reveals a disturbing reality. The men riding the elephants exploit the animals for personal gain. It is puzzling why the police were not called to intervene. Just because elephants may appear tame does not mean they cannot pose a threat. There have been instances of elephants attacking people and causing property damage when provoked. It is imperative for the Animal Welfare Association to investigate this matter thoroughly and take appropriate action against the mahouts. The use of wild animals like elephants on public roads not only mistreats the animals but also endangers other road users. While incidents of domesticated cattle causing problems on the roads are not uncommon, encounters with elephants like this are exceptionally rare.
Q: What is the purpose of the video?
A: The video captures an incident where two mahouts on elephants block the road and extort money from a motorcyclist.
Q: Where did this incident occur?
A: The exact location is unknown, but based on the audio, it seems to have happened in the eastern part of India.
Q: Why were elephants used to block the road?
A: The motive behind using elephants to block the road and demand money remains unclear.
Q: Did the elephants cause any harm to the vehicles or the people?
A: The trained elephants did not cause any damage to the vehicles. However, they were observed playing with the motorcycles’ side mirrors and other body panels.
Q: What actions should be taken in response to this incident?
A: The Animal Welfare Association should thoroughly investigate the matter and take appropriate action against the mahouts. The use of wild animals on public roads not only mistreats the animals but also poses a danger to other road users.