A different perspective on pachyderms

Lucas the baby elephant by his mother Renee. / WNWO

September 22 is Elephant Appreciation Day, so WNWO headed to the Toledo Zoo to check on Lucas the baby elephant. So far, Lucas is becoming a big boy. He is already 40 inches high at the shoulder and weighs close to 500 pounds. The zoo says he improved his trunk skills and is now able to perform more complex tasks.

Members of the Hindu Temple in Canton Michigan visited the Toledo Zoo. Many of them are from India where elephants are still used as beasts of burden.

"Elephants are very important in India," said Kanu Desai. "I like to go to zoos and see them,"

Ramesh Mangruklar also came with the group to visit the zoo. He says that in India they even use elephant dung for fuel.

"They burn it, just like any other fuel. When it comes out it's just like dried grass," he said.

Elephants are still used in India to carry heavy loads where they do not have access to large machines such as bulldozers. Evidence of the domestication dates back several centuries.