Elephants and my family
My name is Farhaan Khan. I am 19 years old. I was born in Amer, India. I have four brothers and three sisters. All of my brothers are married, and we live here as five families all together.
My family has been raising elephants for the past 35 years. The five elephants that we have are used to entertain tourists with short rides.
Elephants are family-oriented; intelligent, very emotional and faithful animals. As long as they are treated well, they will be loyal to their owners, they will serve and show gratitude; never misbehaving or showing anger.
Asian elephants are calmer and more harmonious than African elephants. Therefore, they can be domesticated and used for various purposes.
These animals are heavy - the male elephants weigh around five tons, and the females weigh around three tons. We feed them seven times a day with bread, sugar cane and banana. Each elephant eats nearly 50 kg of food for a day.
Elephants usually have a lifespan of around 80 years; the females can give birth at the age of seven, after having 22 months of pregnancy. In their lifetime, under free/relaxed conditions, one of these animals can give birth up to six or seven times.
In India, it is legally forbidden to buy or sell elephants. Therefore, we cannot have a new one unless our elephants give birth to new babies.
At festival times, we decorate our elephants with traditional painted patterns. Living here in Amer, we feel fortunate to own these lovely animals and happily earn our living as a big family with peace.
Jaipur, India, 16 March 2019
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