PATHEIN, Myanmar "So, do you want to buy an elephant?" Soe Naing was laughing, but not entirely joking. He owns one of the 2,000 or so elephants facing redundancy since the Myanmar government clamped down last year on the logging industry, in which thousands of elephants have toiled for generations.
Soe Naing, from Taungoo in the Bago region a few hours' drive north of Yangon, was one of around 30 participants in a week-long workshop at the Chaungtha Elephant Camp in Pathein in the Irrawaddy River delta region focused on training elephants through positive reinforcement techniques. The system is new to the country, and organizers hope it will help end the more brutal practices that have traditionally been used to tame elephants in Asia.