Elephants at work in the timber depot [Burma]
Photographer: Watts and Skeen
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph from the Curzon Collection with a view of elephants hauling logs from the river at a timber depot in Burma (Myanmar). Extensive mixed deciduous forests form one of the country's greatest natural resources and in 19th century British Burma the commercial exploitation of hardwoods, notably teak, was an important economic activity. Timber was extracted using elephants and buffalo, and floated in rafts down the Irrawaddy and other rivers to Rangoon or Mandalay, where it was classified and sold locally or sawn up for export to Europe. Burma has the world’s largest herd of working elephants, most of which are used in logging and agriculture.