National Geographic : 1969 Mar
Amid stomping feet and swinging trunks, men tighten lines that restrain the hind legs of a wild elephant in the roping corral. Two huge kumkies at left and right, almost obscuring the captive, press tightly against her to keep her from lashing out with a trunk that could inflict a down with a great crash behind the last of the herd. Several days passed before the animals could be accurately counted, for the calves and young elephants huddled nervously to gether. But finally we knew the size of the herd: 86-one of the biggest ever caught. Every evening the mahouts strewed sugar cane about the floor of the adjacent roping stockade, which consisted of three concentric 382 circles of heavy log fencing (preceding pages). This enclosure was connected to the khedda by a short passage, and the gate at its en trance was left open. Scenting their favorite food, the elephants came into the stockade at night, and when four or five were inside, a mahout would drop the gate. Next day the mahouts would slip nooses around the ani mals' necks and hind legs so they could be tied singly to trees. Then training would begin.