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Elephant in the River

A boatman in Chaing Mai, northern Thailand, glides by bamboo raft up the River Ping. Behind him an elephant, who has spent the morning giving tourists rides through the forest at a nearby elephant village, crosses the river. There are presently 4,000 elephants in Thailand, of which 1,000 live in the jungle. The other 3,000 are used for tourism, either for elephant rides or performing tricks such as hitting a soccer ball with its trunk or painting a picture. An elephant, whose lifespan is about 70 years, eats 551 pounds of food per day and drinks 52 gallons of water daily.