Where do you come from? Surin, Thailand…… Have you always been a mahout? Yes…… Was your father a mahout? No, he was a farmer…… So how did you learn the skills of a mahout? I used to go and watch mahouts in a nearby village as a child. I taught myself. It looked more fun than farming. By the age of twelve I was training my own elephant…… Did you go to school? Sometimes…… What is your elephant’s name? Her name is Bua Thong (Mexican wild sunflower), but you can call her Thong…… How old is Thong? She is 21. We’ve been together since she was one…… So you’ve been with Thong for twenty years. Do you have a wife? Erm, with Thong I have two…… If you could be anything, what would you choose to be? A fighter pilot…… Who is your hero? David Beckham…… What was Thong’s occupation prior to you moving here? She has worked as a sales girl – selling bananas and sugar cane. But really she should have been in show-business – she loves to play basket ball and football, and always plays the clown…… What do you think of female mahouts? Yeah, cool, why not? I have no problem with that idea…… How would you feel if your daughter wished to be a mahout? What? Are you crazy? No way! I wouldn’t let her!