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In pictures: Myanmar's timber elephants
Will Myanmar's elephants and their handlers, who have endured kingdoms and military dictatorships, survive democracy?
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2013 11:18
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Every morning at the break of dawn, Zaw Win and his team herd their elephants across the sweeping forest floor down to the riverbank. They scrub and clean the mighty mammals before harnessing them to begin their day's work. Zaw Win, a third-generation oozie (Burmese for "elephant handler") keeps a close eye on his animals - which are his livelihood.

Decades of military dictatorship has meant that many aspects of Myanmar are frozen in time. One of those traditions dates back thousands of years - the timber elephant.

But will the elephants and their handlers, who have survived kingdoms and military dictatorships, survive democracy and the open market? Is there a place for them in a changing modern world?


/Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera

In Myanmar's challenging jungle terrain, elephants are the ideal form of transport during the monsoon season.



/Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera
Myanmar is the only country remaining in Southeast Asia to use elephants for timber logging. Heavy machinery destroys far more of the forest.


/Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera
There are approximately 5,000 captive elephants in Myanmar, with 2,861 of them belonging to a single government logging agency, the Myanma Timber Enterprise.


/Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera
Tusker Swe Kyaw Htay was one of the last elephants caught from the wild. Today he is one of the most obedient timber elephants owned by Myanma Timber Enterprise.


/Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera

Every morning, oozies at Thayet San base camp bring their elephants down to the river for a good scrub.



/Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera

The daily bath is important for a timber elephant's hygiene and also reinforces the bond between oozie, elephant handler, and animal.



/Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera
A male elephant is ready for a medical inspection. Vets will check his tongue for signs of anaemia.


/Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera

Forest cover in Myanmar has dropped to below 30 percent, and the government is taking drastic measures to protect its jungles from deforestation and illegal logging.



/Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera
With Myanmar drastically reducing logging, timber elephants will be given lighter duties and some may be sent back into the wild.


/Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera
Myanmar will have a complete ban on raw timber exports from April 1, 2014 and will reduce logging by 50 percent, putting privately owned timber elephants out of work.


/Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera

Elephant activists are concerned that out-of-work timber elephants may be used as tourist attractions, much like the rare white elephants in Yangon's Royal White Elephant Park.




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images:
/mritems/images/2013/10/28/2013102810177763968_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/28/2013102810178670737_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/28/2013102810179545732_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/28/20131028101710654498_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/28/20131028101711217161_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/28/20131028101711670161_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/28/20131028101712810194_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/28/20131028101713889525_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/28/20131028101714514446_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/28/20131028101715576726_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/28/2013102810171714156_8.jpg
captions:

In Myanmar\(***)s challenging jungle terrain, elephants are the ideal form of transport during the monsoon season.

;*;Myanmar is the only country remaining in Southeast Asia to use elephants for timber logging. Heavy machinery destroys far more of the forest.;*;There are approximately 5,000 captive elephants in Myanmar, with 2,861 of them belonging to a single government logging agency, the Myanma Timber Enterprise. ;*;Tusker Swe Kyaw Htay was one of the last elephants caught from the wild. Today he is one of the most obedient timber elephants owned by Myanma Timber Enterprise.;*;

Every morning, oozies at Thayet San base camp bring their elephants down to the river for a good scrub.

;*;

The daily bath is important for a timber elephant\(***)s hygiene and also reinforces the bond between oozie, elephant handler, and animal.

;*;A male elephant is ready for a medical inspection. Vets will check his tongue for signs of anaemia.;*;

Forest cover in Myanmar has dropped to below 30 percent, and the government is taking drastic measures to protect its jungles from deforestation and illegal logging.

;*;With Myanmar drastically reducing logging, timber elephants will be given lighter duties and some may be sent back into the wild. ;*;Myanmar will have a complete ban on raw timber exports from April 1, 2014 and will reduce logging by 50 percent, putting privately owned timber elephants out of work. ;*;

Elephant activists are concerned that out-of-work timber elephants may be used as tourist attractions, much like the rare white elephants in Yangon\(***)s Royal White Elephant Park.

Daylife ID:
c99e1be44e21194db92a08b3471a04e0
Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera;*;Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera;*;Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera;*;Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera;*;Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera;*;Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera;*;Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera;*;Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera;*;Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera;*;Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera;*;Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
The future of Myanmar timber elephantshttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephantsen-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Mon, 28 Oct 2013 10:13:43 GMT http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephants/slideshow/no-caption/432d8ca3220f3e23e15f115877fad188

In Myanmar's challenging jungle terrain, elephants are the most ideal form of transport during the monsoon season.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephants/slideshow/no-caption/432d8ca3220f3e23e15f115877fad188Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera

In Myanmar's challenging jungle terrain, elephants are the most ideal form of transport during the monsoon season.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephants/slideshow/no-caption/b94a2fb02702878a36b0f34fd08e4612

Myanmar is the only country remaining in Southeast Asia to use elephants for timber logging. Heavy machinery destroys far more of the forest.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephants/slideshow/no-caption/b94a2fb02702878a36b0f34fd08e4612Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera

Myanmar is the only country remaining in Southeast Asia to use elephants for timber logging. Heavy machinery destroys far more of the forest.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephants/slideshow/no-caption/51c559c1fefd993081fc04100857f060

There are approximately 5,000 captive elephants in Myanmar, with 2,861 of them belonging to a single government logging agency, the Myanma Timber Enterprise.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephants/slideshow/no-caption/51c559c1fefd993081fc04100857f060Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera

There are approximately 5,000 captive elephants in Myanmar, with 2,861 of them belonging to a single government logging agency, the Myanma Timber Enterprise.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephants/slideshow/no-caption/87f44cdec1908f87d2d3fb71864596ee

Tusker Swe Kyaw Htay was one of the last elephants caught from the wild. Today he is one of the most obedient timber elephants owned by Myanma Timber Enterprise.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephants/slideshow/no-caption/87f44cdec1908f87d2d3fb71864596eeTiffany Ang/Al Jazeera

Tusker Swe Kyaw Htay was one of the last elephants caught from the wild. Today he is one of the most obedient timber elephants owned by Myanma Timber Enterprise.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephants/slideshow/no-caption/5fb1624a43aa87e5769aa981f10eee26

Each morning oozies at Thayet San base camp bring their elephants down to the river for a good scrub.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephants/slideshow/no-caption/5fb1624a43aa87e5769aa981f10eee26Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera

Each morning oozies at Thayet San base camp bring their elephants down to the river for a good scrub.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephants/slideshow/no-caption/07f2c203e4fde36fd64da49eb91c9b2e

The daily bath is important for a timber elephant's hygiene and also reinforces the bond between oozie ,elephant handler, and animal.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephants/slideshow/no-caption/07f2c203e4fde36fd64da49eb91c9b2eTiffany Ang/Al Jazeera

The daily bath is important for a timber elephant's hygiene and also reinforces the bond between oozie ,elephant handler, and animal.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephants/slideshow/no-caption/fd1488c8b4ac403a6a9d1b0846cc1121

A male elephant is ready for a medical inspection. Vets will check his tongue for signs of anaemia.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephants/slideshow/no-caption/fd1488c8b4ac403a6a9d1b0846cc1121Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera

A male elephant is ready for a medical inspection. Vets will check his tongue for signs of anaemia.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephants/slideshow/no-caption/1e1804d731a1afb63bae60192fc98749

Forest cover in Myanmar has dropped to below 30 percent and the government is taking drastic measures to protect its jungles from deforestation and illegal logging.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephants/slideshow/no-caption/1e1804d731a1afb63bae60192fc98749Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera

Forest cover in Myanmar has dropped to below 30 percent and the government is taking drastic measures to protect its jungles from deforestation and illegal logging.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephants/slideshow/no-caption/981f8d55b2208aa56692a2127180a8ac

With Myanmar drastically reducing logging, timber elephants will be given lighter duties and some may be sent back into the wild.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephants/slideshow/no-caption/981f8d55b2208aa56692a2127180a8acTiffany Ang/Al Jazeera

With Myanmar drastically reducing logging, timber elephants will be given lighter duties and some may be sent back into the wild.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephants/slideshow/no-caption/0ac067dd355da46f838e7c02d901e3a9

Myanmar will have a complete ban on raw timber exports from April 1, 2014 and will reduce logging by 50 percent, putting privately owned timber elephants out of work.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephants/slideshow/no-caption/0ac067dd355da46f838e7c02d901e3a9Tiffany Ang/Al Jazeera

Myanmar will have a complete ban on raw timber exports from April 1, 2014 and will reduce logging by 50 percent, putting privately owned timber elephants out of work.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephants/slideshow/no-caption/b7357df494574a1a0b14393ac5417bcb

Elephant activists are concerned that out of work timber elephants may be used as tourist attractions, much like the rare white elephants in Yangon's Royal White Elephant Park.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Burma_Last_Timber_Elephants/slideshow/no-caption/b7357df494574a1a0b14393ac5417bcbTiffany Ang/Al Jazeera

Elephant activists are concerned that out of work timber elephants may be used as tourist attractions, much like the rare white elephants in Yangon's Royal White Elephant Park.



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