Eleven warring elephants from Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Thailand, marched in Bangkok’s Sanam Luang this morning to mourn and pay respect to the beloved late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The elephants from Ayutthaya Elephant Camp arriving in Bangkok before dawn in a convoy of trucks escorted by highway police cars were accompanied by about 200 mahouts and staff of the camp.
The elephants, in black warring dresses and white flowers and led by the 43-year old “Plai Wang” bull elephant with the mahout on its back holding the image of His Majesty, marched out of the Territorial Defence Command at 6.30 am to the Ministry of Defence which is in front of the Grand Palace.
The warring elephant procession then joined mourners at Sanam Luang to stand up after the National Anthem was played at 8.00 am.
After the song ended, the elephants raised their trunks and one of their feets and then trumpeted together in a show of respect to the late King.
The elephants then staged a 20-minute performance to pay tribute to the late King.
The performance of the mammals won applause from thousands of mourners at Sanam Luang to watch them paying respect in front of the image of the King.
Yesterday all the 11 elephants joining the procession had participated in a ceremony in Ayutthaya to drive out evil spirits, during which the abbot of Wat Pom Ramun temple had blessed the elephants with holy water and called on the angels to protect the elephants.