eliot & drew bike through india for 3 months, trying to inconspicuously do some good in the world.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

spicy safari, episode 2

EPISODE 2 - Ears for Years
the Grey Leg-Faced Man

There are two kinds of elephants in the world - the large, gas-guzzling, high-octane African variety and the sporty, efficient left-wing endorsed Asian type. Four exciting models of Asian elephant are available, but the one we want to focus on today is the Indian Elephant for obvious reasons. we're going to India, remember? It's why you come to this blog? Ugh ...

... ANYWAY: Indian elephants, like other Asian elephants, have smaller ears than their african brethren.  And while only 9% of sri lankan elephant males have tusks, a whopping 90% of indian elephant males can gore their opponents with their giant teeth. Yep, you heard right! Like walruses, elephant tusks are actually over-sized incisors.  You've probably heard that the tusks never stop growing: you heard right! Additionally they have a few large molars that they grind back and forth to much their grub. 

warning - PG-13! 

Indians have been domesticating the elephant for work, transportation and war for thousands of years. Mahouts are legendary elephant trainers who will raise a calf until he or she is ready to be an awesome partner in life-adventures. the Mahout and his elephant companion are common characters in indian folklore and a popular attraction in contemporary communities.  likewise, many temples keep an elephant around, typically painted up and given special treatment. one hindu myth says that the gods stirred up the oceans looking for a potion that would make them immortal (remember, Gods die too in Hiduism!) and instead nine precious jewels surfaced. one of these was the elephant.  in accordance with this myth, elephants are revered as sacred, holy animals - sometimes even prayed to. 

sweet tats, bro

Worried about getting trampled? Don't. The way humans kill elephants, you're more likely to witness an elephant poaching than be squished by one. The WWF (not the WWF) says that Elephant populations (particularly in asia) are dwindling but recent conservation efforts have seen them rise to the status of "dwindling but not endangered." 

personally, i think we should ditch the bikes in india and hook up with some mahouts. DREW & ELIOT'S HEAVY METAL ELEPHANT WORLD TOUR - COMING 2011!! 

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