CHIANG MAI - March 3 2006: A mahout, or keeper, and his dog keep watch while elephants graze. Mahouts are very important, even on parks and reserves, to make sure the elephants do not cross into farmers lands and eats crops or damage property. Asian elephants - strong, social, and intelligent - have been trained for thousands of years for use in transportation, labor, and ritual. In Thailand, Elephants are of immense cultural importance, but their numbers are shockingly plummeting. In 1905, there were over 100,000 elephants in this land - now they are estimated at less than 5,000 - of which barely half are in the wild.