Eco Warriors
Queen among Elephants
-By Rani Iyer

Hailing from royal ancestries, Parbati Barua is truly the Queen among elephants. Assam has the distinction of having the only female elephant hunter in the whole world. She learnt her skill from her father Late Prakritish Barua, whose expertise on Asian elephants was well known. Despite coming from a royal family, she spends more than 265 days in a year in the jungle with her elephants and her mahouts. Parbati Barua herself owned four elephants at one time. She uses her elephants for relief work during the floods, chasing the wild elephants back into forests and in patrolling the forests.
Parbati’s earliest memories, as a child, were of elephants.

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When she was forty-seven days old, her father took her for a ride on an elephant! When she was fourteen years old, she undertook her first independent journey into the wilds where she captured a wild adult tusker. Parbati chose the career to work with elephants. About these missions that take her into the forest, she says that it is, ‘very risky and dangerous.’ Elephants are captured by lasso, and then the long process of taming begins. It takes up to six months of patient and gentle coaxing to tame elephants. It requires lot of patience, perseverance, and dedication.
Due to her long association with the pachyderms, she thinks that elephants are the most sensitive and intelligent beasts. Parbati is concerned that the elephants are being poached excessively for their meat and ivory in the northeast India today. Man has started to occupy areas along their migratory routes, and their natural habitats are shrinking due to increased accessibility by roads.
Parbati is also a skilled folk singer and dancer. She has a universal outlook when it comes to the love of elephants. One of the ‘students,’ Mark Shand, has documented his 1000 kilometre journey on the back of an elephant. Yet, her advice to people when chased by wild elephants is “run!”



User's Comments                     
peter smolka
I saw a film about you.. I was a firefighter in Munich and I will stay from November 04 to February 05 in India. Maybe you need help in this time. I give my work for sleep and food... and maybe you can show me the work with elephants...
Sumanta Kundu
To, Parbati Barua . Madam, Recently while I was brwosing the internet I one though a internet addition of book on elephant care in india. The book was written by many expert peoples and Some of the chapters was also written by you. But Now I cant find the website because I want to download the concerned book. madam I will be thankful to you if you kindly help me in this regard.
Moira Sambey
Hi Parbati I have just watched the amazing National Geographic DVD of your odyssey with Mark Shand. I have always felt an unexplainable pull to elephants and have been close to them in Thailand. You are a very special woman with what I might call 'Elephant Medicine'. The elephants who have known you and even those who have never been around you know Who You Are. Elephants are very wise, they are of the Ancients who Know. Do you read these comments? May the Universe Bless and protect you in your wonderful work. May I have the honour of meeting you one day. Brightest Blessings Moira
PK Mahanandia
Delighted to read about you. Heartfelt congratulations from Sweden. I was born in Orissa as an elephnat boy, based in Sweden since 1977.
Tammy Mc Gaw
I am an Australian trying to gain more elephant management skills. I want to work as an elephant keeper in Australia. I have had experience with zoo and circus elephants. I have just completed the Hagenbeck elephant management course in Germany. I have also completed the three years zoo keepers course where I focused all my assignments around elephants and I have also almost completed the vet nurses certificate as well. Is it possible to do any work with Parbati. For the sake of the captive elephants that may be one day in my care I want to learn from the best. I consider Parbati to be one of the best. She has, as a female trying to break into a male dominated profession my utmost respect and admiration.
remesh
Dear Madam, This is based on the common issue related with elephants musth. It is of a 33 old year Asian elephant which had all symptoms of musth except any visible discharge form the glands. could you please suggest any remedy to flow the glandular discharge and specify the reasons if any. Hope a favourable reply soon. Yours Truly. REMESH.G.PILLAI, VISAKHAM, PERUVARAM, N.PARAVUR, KERALA, INDIA.683 513.
ankuran pathak
This is Ankuran Pathak frm Golaghat dist Assam. I am very keen toward making films in environmental issues. Kaziranga has been my inspiration always. I am very eager to learn from you about elephant conservation in Assam as their habitat is greatly disturbed by human activities.
Sambit Sanyal
Being a 6th standard, we had been asked to write a fact file about one forest conserver in a list given in the book. Since India is known for its elephants,why not write about the elephant conserver ? That's why I had chosen you from the list given.
anusha
we read about you a lot in our text book I would love to be in your place ! I would say the queen among elephants the saviour of the elephants parbati !
bivek
I wish you live a long life.
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