12 | Elephant Tao
Artist Tao with Songklan
Tao was rescued from the streets of Bangkok.
Tao is an interesting case of an elephant who has responded positively as a result of a recent change of mahout. He used to be quite naughty as a youngster and also rather lazy, which did not stop him from running away sometimes. Today he is sometimes a little aggressive, but overall he has quieted down and is much better behaved.
Tao changed his mahout in December 2004. This was not because the previous mahout was bad at his job, but because it was felt that Tao may respond better to another mahout.
Alas Tao no longer paints as he has moved on to other activities. Grab the last painting while you can! Tao's style is consistent with strong vertical strokes. His mahout is very proud of Tao's change in behaviour and in his improved artistic ability, which he puts down to his own understanding and care.
Tao’s mahout is Songklan Kanlaow, born in April 1972. He has been a mahout since 1998. Tao took over from an older and more experienced mahout (Tuan Pankwaen) in December 2004. Songklan is married to Kanjana and they have one child. Tuan is now a helper to Tao. Tuan is married to Kaew and they have one child.