Posts Tagged ‘Training’

They Run, I Suppose

June 5, 2017

Some time back I read that one way to train an elephant to stay in place for the night was to tether it with a heavy chain around its leg when it was a calf.  The calf would strain against the chain at first, but eventually the calf would learn that it couldn’t break the chain, and stop straining against it.  It would learn this lesson so well, in fact, that once the calf had grown into an elephant that could break the chain, it still wouldn’t strain against the chain because it had long ago learned that the chain was “unbreakable.”  In fact, by the time the elephant reached adulthood, the trainers would have actually dispensed with using a chain at all, because a simple rope worked just as well at that point.

I don’t actually know if this is true, or if this is just an elaborate analogy; regardless, I take the point of the anecdote . . . but I still have to wonder something:

What do the trainers do if the elephant ever does figure out that it had been tricked all those years, particularly if the elephants decides to hold a grudge over it?