Elephant Crush

PhotographerBrent Lewin
PrizePress / Nature/Environmental
Entry Description

A baby elephant braces for a hit during a training session in a Karen village in Burma. The training session is coined the 'crush' as its goal is to break the elephant's spirit. Wild elephants are typically tied up and beaten for 3 days straight and left to starve. Burmese Karen mahouts near the Thai border operate a clandestine and illegal trade network smuggling trained elephants into Thailand to be sold to mahouts for the Thai tourism industry. Officials estimate that 1 Burmese elephant is smuggled into Thailand every week.