Mahouts (elephant drivers) take their animals around tourist areas, selling food for the elephants to tourists. In Chiang Mai, Thailand’s second largest city, a mahout failed to persuade two Aussies to buy food for his elephant. The tourists then criticized him for making the elephant beg for food. The mahout beat the male tourist with his ankus, a short pole tipped with a metal hook used to control the elephant. The Aussie suffered cuts to his arm, head and ear. Tourists and by-standers surrounded the mahout until the police arrived.
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