Today’s training session began with the appearance of the second elephant we were supposed to be training during this workshop however this particular elephant, Raku, never turned up on previous days owing to the various interruptions of the bull elephant. Raku had something of a reputation for being a little bit aggressive in that she was prone to kick. Unlike horses, elephants are capable of kicking forward, back and sideways, so we need to be careful. I began teaching her to step back since step back has a natural propensity to inhibit aggression (because aggression is wired with forward). In only a few repetitions using positive reinforcement, Raku was stepping back quite placidly when she suddenly decided to leave and ran off toward the vast interior of the National Park. So that was that.
H-ELP's Elephant-Friendly Training for Working Elephants ExplainedAbuse ends where knowledge begins – Interview with Dr. Andrew McLean, Founder of H-ELP FoundationTrainee Trainer Kevin Ovenstone 2019 Trip Report — Laos & Thailand2019 Trip — Thailand & LaosLaos & Thailand with H-ELP Trainer Kevin Ovenstone