The relationship between elephants and people goes back millennia. Elephants have been an integral part of history, religion, art, and culture in many parts of Asia.
“Th’ unwieldy elephant, To make them mirth, us’d all his might, and wreathed. His lithe proboscis.”
-John Milton, Paradise Lost
Elephants have been important in both Hinduism and Buddhism. Ganesh, the Hindu elephant God, is worshipped as the lord of success, education, knowledge, wisdom and wealth.
John Kistler’s book, War Elephants, pointed out that for over a thousand years, generals used elephants as tanks, bulldozers, and cargo trucks long before such vehicles existed. Elephants built roads, swung swords, and terrified opposing forces.
Aristotle called the elephant “the beast which passeth all others in wit and mind.”
“Nature’s great masterpiece, an elephant – the only harmless great thing.”
-John Donne (English poet, 1572-1631)