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Koonki (or Kunki) is a specially trained elephant used in Mela shikar to capture wild elephants. They are used to chase the wild elephants, help in lassoing and dragging them to the depot. They are particularly trained to follow the "foot commands" from their mahouts and to move silently during the entire capturing operation. [1]

Phandi commands

Following are the commands that phandis use to drive an elephant.[2]

  • Agad : Go forward
  • Pisoo/Pichoo : Go backward.
  • Dhutt/Datt : Stop
  • Beit : Lie (on belly)
  • Tere : Lie (on one side)
  • Meile/Mut : Get up

See also


  1. ^ Nibha Namboodiri, ed (July, 1997). "Elephant capturing in North-Eastern India by Parbati Baruah" (in English). Practical Elephant Management - A Handbook for Mahouts. Elephant Welfare Association. Retrieved 2009-08-29.  
  2. ^ Mitra, Naresh; Ray, Achintyarup (2009-09-13). "Caught in a trap" (in English). The Times of India (Kolkata: Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.): 13. Retrieved 2009-09-14.  


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