Asian elephants which formerly roamed wild in the Thai forests played an important cultural and economic role for centuries. Valued for their strength and dexterous trunks, elephants once provided the main work force in the teak forests of Northern Thailand to move the timber. However, teak deforestation resulted in the reality that there was no economic manner to meet the expenses of maintaining these wonderful animals. Therefore, the owners resorted to taking the animals to the big cities where people would pay to feed and pet them in a totally alien environment of walking the streets and sleeping under bridges and freeways.
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