Delhi's Last Urban Elephants by Delhi photographer Simon de Trey-White
30th August 2014, Yamuna River, New Delhi, India. An elephant fills its trunk with water from a tap in New Delhi, India on the 30th August 2014. One of the biggest challenges the elephant keepers face is providing enough fresh water for the animals who each need up to 200 litres per day
Elephant handlers (Mahouts) eke out a living in makeshift camps on the banks of the Yamuna River in New Delhi. They survive on a small retainer paid by the elephant owners and by giving rides to passers by. The owners keep all the money from hiring the animals out for religious festivals, events and weddings, they also are involved in the illegal trade of captive elephants. The living conditions and treatment of elephants kept in cities in North India is extremely harsh, the handlers use the banned 'ankush' or bullhook to control the animals through daily beatings, the animals have no proper shelters are forced to walk on burning hot tarmac and stand for hours with their feet chained together.
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